Graduate of the School of Hard Knocks
The torture begins promptly at 9 am
every day, the name calling that
seemingly goes with getting glasses
or wearing unfashionable clothes
or not knowing anyone at this school.
The teacher tries not to interfere,
presuming that the children
will work it all out on their own
Home is no better,
step-father number three
is not pleased having so many
children (not his) around.
We must look insolent or
rebellious to his eyes
Time goes slowly for a lonely child
high school blend together
in a blur of education
interrupted by angry people,
always implying that the
rage is well-deserved
Working at whatever place
will hire a kid with
again, the target seems
inevitably painted on the back
of the cheap polyester fast-food uniform.
Trying to please, always trying,
not always succeeding, maybe someday
things will be better
Written for Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides November Poem-a-Day Challenge – prompt: Self Help.