Bringing Weapons This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


Playinghopscotch
jumping double-dutch
when I would laugh
and awaken the wholeVan Houten Street neighborhood
Laughing was such a strong weapon
evenduring summer's smothering heat and days of

childhood quarrels
throughthe gloom and despair of winter
through cold, foggy days of bitterness
laughter would shatter that
and claim serenity
At P. S. 2
kidspicking on others to elevate their own gloom and despair
Ms. Miele and and Mr.Timpone
continuing on in monotone voices
about needing reading and math inthe future
"The path to success is to take massive, determinedaction"
"The secret of success is constancy of purpose,"
they would say.
Dragging on through each year of elementary school,
just to get it over,
just to start anew, a fresh beginning in highschool.
High school: how those words sounded like so much freedom
Finallyreaching the high school
an enormous, gray X of a building
stuck on acorner
near the smooth flowing Passaic River
It does not seem glorious orwonderful,
It does not sound like freedom,
rather I feel trapped like
acrab at the bottom of a barrel with no exit
Stress hitting at you everysecond
at every corner,
blocking you,
and new teachers
continuing onwith monotone voices about
needing algebra and calculus
"The only wayto discover the limits of the
possibilities is to go beyond them into theimpossible,"
"You never really lose until you quit trying,"
they say
And me armed with laughter
my old neighborhood weapon,
theonly weapon I bring to school.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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