Sep 16
poem challenge: First Grade

First grade lessons

fingers sticky with apple juice 
holding the straps of my backpack so hard
peel my small hands off, they stick to the rough straps 
slowly jumping up and down on my heels
staring at my red brick school 
the bell rings and my hands fly to my ears
the bell is too loud 
teachers with tired eyes come outside 
and herd us in like sheep and cattle 
all our footsteps sound like rumbling thunder 
echoes throughout the halls 
a morning filled with 
ABC's and 
Get to Know You's 
then it's lunchtime 
the cafeteria is loud 
and I want to cover my ears
I sit with my friends
a boy comes over 
yells something about
girls 
and 
cooties 
and he runs away screaming
back to his table
where they are all snickering 
'boys' 
my tablemates exclaim and giggle
am I the only one that doesn't understand? 
the bell rings
my hands instantly fly to my ears
why must they make the bell so loud?
lunch is over 
we walk in a clump in the hallway
'single file!' the teacher says
we walk single file back to the class
the teachers
seem like giants 
I have to lean my head up
all the way just to see 
in class 
there is one girl
sitting alone
I ask my friend 
if we should sit with her
no 
she says 
no, that girl is weird 
she says 
but I don't understand 
she is just like us
why is she weird? 
the boy from lunch goes over to her
cooties!
he screams 
everyone laughs
the girl cries
I still don't know what this means 
but it doesn't seem very nice
cooties!
my friend says (is she my friend?) 
loud enough for the girl to hear 
why? 
I ask her 
why?
because
she says 
because she is weird 
I decide
to go over to her 
I sit with her for the rest of the day
the bell rings 
my ears are covered 
it's the end of the day 
and now I know some things
sometimes people don't make sense 
sometimes people can be mean
don't be one of those people