by Brian Francis
The verdant meadows of my childhood’s roaming.
Those holy places where I defined myself
by gathering the sorrows and joys I had found.
Where I contemplated and dreamed my tomorrows,
setting aside the torments of bullies, their admirers.
Imagining a place where kindness welcomed me,
where shame was not a garment I was forced to wear,
among the laughing, pointing peers of resentment’s day.
Roads with their black macadam winding paths calling,
Offering a distant alternative imagined among my sorrows,
undefined except for the lack of torment and torture.
A place that surely must exist somewhere out there.
I dreamed and desired relief from this life’s oppression.
Averse, like to poisonous foliage, my spirit withered
while I traversed the minefield of education’s suffering.
Peering up halls full of superior feeling students,
bolder, willing to cause suffering for their spectators.
Smiling with prideful glee at the pain caused to another.
Domination pushing me down and howling with laughter.
When my dog protected me, they took her away.
I was alone exposed to the barbs and thorns,
To the horrors of my secret suffering and shame.
Finally, when growth found me taller and stronger,
I cast off my whimpering self and fought with rage.
To all of the bullies of before, I became the horror,
for them, there was no place safe and they cried.
My revenge was constant, my anger un-subsided
rested waiting for the moment of need to appear.
Until I heard the tones of the bully’s voice booming.
A smile would settle upon my demeanor as I advanced.
Blood was my reward dripping from their wounded façade.
Fear, resolute, swelled in their eyes as I rose up to conquer.
My rage, directed at all of the bullies that ever touched me,
settled upon the one before me -- and we danced battle.
We met as equals, as I became their bully, their tormentor,
as I became their dreaded glimpse in the halls of school.
Never again would I submit to another’s angry taunting.
Yet the taste was like that of spoiled food upon the palate.
Shame overtook me again, a stronger shame and sorrow.
My own choice wrapped it around me, I tied it tight.
I became the self-despised avenger of those halls.
I became that which I most hated. I became the bully boy.
Posted on 11/23/2018
Copyright © 2018 Brian Francis
|Member Comments on this Poem|
|Posted by Glenn Currier on 12/03/18 at 02:43 PM|
Your poem brings to mind television stories about the families of offenders seemingly happy about revenge meted out on a perpetrator by the legal system. I always wonder how sweet or truly satisfying revenge is, despite what they say. Your honesty is refreshing, both honesty about the sorrows and about the shame that hangs on the thorns of retribution. I like the metaphors you use too... "where shame was not a garment I was forced to wear." You also gave me an inkling about how I might poetically approach some of the difficulties of my present life. Thanks for you and your work that takes me to regions of the creative spirit.