Lord of the Flies
He remembers each scene like a photograph,
though he never turned a page of the book,
pressuring a classmate to tell him
the story the night before the exam.
A lost boy coveting self-confidence,
he recognized the island, the Biguns,
as a tropical incarnation of the terror
of his father’s study (winner/losers).
Now a teen tasting pangs of fear,
the cast of characters took on the familiar
faces of the military dormitory far from home,
where lawlessness was the law.
Without the mind for academics,
science, geography and math were a bore.
He was an athlete—no one more aggressive,
more brutal, more loyal, more proud.
Years later, claiming he had read the novel,
he could hear his classmate’s voice recite it
as he realized right away he would always be Roger,
even as he dreamed of being Jack.
by Anne McCrady