Just Fine

There’s a little lad standing alone in the yard

Away from a playground, bounded by scars

His classmates play gaily, whist he watches afar

His name could be Jeffery, Eric or Carl

But his name does not matter, at least not to them

Since he has been outcast- duly condemned

From the playground condition, he couldn’t quite blend.

He is not overly handsome, funny, or trim

Which makes him a target for a bully named Tim

Now this name is known, and this name is cool

This is the name that rules the school.

So Tim tells Carl he’s worthless, pathetic, uncool

And Carl goes home feeling a fool

Over dinner, his Mama will ask why he cries

And while wiping away tears he’ll say

“I’m doing just fine”

And Mom will believe him, because why would he lie?

This cycle continues, day after day

Tim’s unkind words begin to eat Carl away…

One day he decides to speak to his Dad

About the sad troubles at school he has had

Dad begins in a tone that is rough

Telling wee Carl he must stand up and be tough

“Every boy gets bullied, that is a norm

Stand up for yourself, or at least try to conform

You will get nowhere in life, being so kind”

And with that, Dad leaves while saying,

“Carl, you’re doing just fine.”

So Carl will live the rest of his days,

Assuming that this is all just a phase

And yes, the phase will eventually end

But the scars of the playground will never quite mend

He will grow old reminiscing this plight

Feeling like he was never quite right.

 ***

Joni sits stagnant, froze to her bed

Stunned by the words, she has just read

The words sting like razors cutting through flesh

And her sobs of regret come out in small breaths

She made a mistake, she can’t take it back

And ever since then, she’s been being attacked

Slut, Whore and Prosti-tot

Are the words that they write

All of these words are out in plain sight.

Mother will see them and cry tears that bite

Daddy will read them and scold her with might

Joni’s not thinking clearly, she’s not thinking right

She can’t figure out how to get rid of this plight

Even the boy who was with her that night

Has begun writing words of familiar trite.

She hates herself for indulging in sin

She has sullied her name, and thwarted her kin

And soon Joni will lash out from within

By sliding a blade against her marked skin

This is not new for Joni, her scars will oblige

But the emotions she feels, she knows soon will subside

She glides the knife to an area which hides

Under her clothes to conceal all her cries,

And as the blade separates her pale rind,

She thinks to herself, “I’m gunna be fine”.

***

Lance was a freshmen in the collage he picked

Lance thought in college the cliques would be kicked

And maybe they were, but Lance could not quit

Seeing the labels that made his teeth grit.

He had to work hard for the grades that he sought

The pressure was on since the classes were bought

Ma- proud of her baby, the first to go far

Pop, loving the thought of his boy above par.

Lances head began spinning from the classes he took

Each day a growing stack of college text books

His eyes grew weary, mind filling with fury

Turning to drugs to forget all his worries

And as it so happened, these drugs took him away

To a place where he needn’t worry about textbooks or grades,

And those grades began slipping to a faraway place

And ma no longer looked at him with credit and grace.

Pop told him one day, to pick it all up

Or the funding for school would all go away…

And maybe it was because the drugs had anchored his mind

But depression swept over, making him blind

‘Trapped’ was the only word he could find

As he walked off that campus, not looking behind.

One year later, he sat broken and cold on the street

With a needle in hand, looking down at his feet

And as he plunged it, one last time,

He looked up at the sky

And thought to himself, “soon, all will be fine”.

***

These words that I write

Are not tall tales or lies

They are issues that concern everyday lives

So next time you hear ‘I’m doing just fine’

Look closer at the additional signs

Because sometimes ‘fine’,

Just means,

Resigned.

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