Monday, April 28, 2014


The schoolhouse is full of crows
and carnivores and small, smokeless fires.
Lunch is a midday lynching.
Recess is a roughshod run,
harsh as gravel on bare knees,
and I'm in the principal's office
trying to remember that I'm an adult.

My daughter slipped her cage, I'm told,
and stretched her fine, strong legs.
Someone tried to steal her candy, I'm told,
and she unsheathed her claws,
still soft at the quick, but sharp
enough to scratch.
This is simply not the way a young lady acts.
She must learn to simper and whimper.
She must learn to swallow her growl.
She must learn to settle.

The principal settles back in her chair,
and I stare at her.  I stare at the shifting
camouflage she wears.  I stare at the get-along snare
just waiting there for well-trained girls.
I've felt its bite before on my own ankles,
and I'd rather teach my daughter how to chew off her own leg.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads


Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a scene which should only play out in a movie as a stereotype or hyperbole, not what actually goes on. Where are the parents of the candy thieves. They need to teach their brats something about the heinous act of bullying little girls.

Nothing to get out my tigress claws like schoolyard injustice, and self-satisfied principals.

Marian said...

aaaaaaahhh YES YES YES! a resounding YES!
(also congrats, you rockstar! well deserved honor to you, i hear.)

ccchampagne said...

I've heard from friends with children that the school system (not just in the US) is collapsing - and of course I've seen Waiting for Superman. This is a scary, but all too real take on a sad situation, I think. Well done!

Susan said...

True--I feel it. The other children/adults should be there. I hate violence, so would want a daughter to have alternatives but disrespect and violation--what happened to your daughter--is too often the cause. I wish principals would get with the peer counsels that would deal with that too.

Other Mary said...

You nailed it. I think your daughter is fortunate to have you as her Mama.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

YES! So true "lunch is a midday lynching". The scariest place we send our children is to school.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

Fireblossom said...

Do I, as an oft-sighted feral girl, really even need to say that I like this one?

Susie Clevenger said...

Wow!! Love it...I spent most of my early years in grade school with blood on my dress from fighting bullies. Yes, let her use her claws!

Kathryn said...

That ending is fantastic . . . you go mama bear!

blueoran said...

Of course it's the school of hard knocks, though its hard to separate the one mama go through from the one baby is now battling. And the speaker isn't fine with settling down the daughter, when settling for is like restraining appetite for a meatless diet. And there's no place really to take this but here. And you do. Fine stuff.

Steve King said...

You've said something here as well as it can be said (and written). This great series of images could have been lifted from a cinema script. Excellent vision and execution.

Steve K.

Lorraine Renaud said...

Oh man Yay you, never quite did that, but sure spoke my mind when it came to my son, and any hearsay I knew to chew on...Atta Mama Zen

grapeling said...

yes, that would be a good thing to teach. we live under a veneer of civility thin as paper.

and many congratulations on the recognition - well deserved ~

Kerridwen said...

I really like this one. Schools are so violent. What kids do would never be tolerated if they were adults, which is really stupid!