All Grown Up~
The boys on the back row,
the snarling bullies with fisted anger,
are on another rampage.
No longer content to stand in the corners
of dusty school playgrounds
insulting weird transfer students
and pitiful loners who tattoo their skin
with borrowed threats of violence,
our bullies are all grown up.
Dressed in suits and ties,
now they brag about pocketfuls
of stolen lunch money to crowds
of wannabe rich kids
who chant their praises
and believe their promises.
Dangerous as ever,
our ruffians have become
substitute teachers who smile and nod
as they give us all the wrong answers
to flashcard questions of social justice.
Squirming in our seats, the rest of us sit
shamefully quiet, too afraid
of what might happen if we “tell,”
a few among us asking each other:
Where are the girls who made A’s?
The boys who never had to throw a punch?
The teachers who taught us our history?
The coaches who led us with honor?
Where is the lady janitor
who found Debbie Reiner
crying in the bathroom and knew
exactly what needed to be done
and did it?
Audio Link (hear Anne read the poem): SoundCloud
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