Boiled up angry all right, his mind on holy fire,
he was a gentle boy who sang tenor in the choir—
but a long time simmering, and mad as hell was he!
He’d found the side door ajar, left purposely so,
mostly for scared kids like him to come and go—
They knew the escape routes in order to flee.
Armed to the teeth with nothing that day,
no guns or ammo, no dreadful plan that way—
just music to rap a face with his fists, you see.
He stormed the steps seeking overdue payback,
his target, large and bold, never dreamed of an attack—
The bully was young too, but not as kind as he might be.
A startled teacher stopped sharp, coffee cup in hand.
She stood forsaken, authority, in no man’s land—
“You should be in class by now,” said she.
“Sorry,” he said. “Woke up late I guess.
Some problems have made my life a mess—
and a few kids here have troubled me.”
She held her ground, a pillar of kindness.
“Oh,” she said, “I know there’s lots of stress—
“We have helpful counselors,” said she.
He rolled his eyes like any doubting teen.
“The bullies here are thick and mean—
they call names and punch, make fun of me.”
“I’ve made my plan, over a sleepless night,
to get even today and show them who is right—
He dodged past her then, nimble as could be.
A custodian came round the corner sweeping the dust,
an older gentleman, thick with courage and trust—
his character brimming, all a good man need be.
He glanced past the angry one, noticed the teacher instead.
Stopping his work, he raised a stop sign next his head—
“Just a moment, son,” he said, “I need a word with thee.”
The boy slammed on the brakes, didn’t quite get the gist.
“Excuse me, Sir. Please let me by,” he said, clenching a fist—
I’ve no problem with you,” said he.
“I’m glad of that,” was the soft-spoken reply.
“I can see you’re upset, and I’d like to know why—
In my life, I too have suffered many an indignity.”
A haymaker of a swing, out of the blue, flew by.
It was a frustrated boy’s answer to a man’s question of why—
It had to be let out or the boy would explode, you see.
The teacher came up behind, let out a quiet yelp.
“Please don’t,” she said. “We’ll get you some help—
Know it or not, most people do care,” said she.
In the distance was heard a siren’s shivering call.
The lad fell to his knees, ashamed of it all—
His body shook and the dam burst, a desperate plea.
“You’ve harmed not a soul,” the custodian said.
He knelt down beside and hugged the boy’s head—
“All us folks make mistakes,” he whispered most tenderly.
Best scoot along now to class, said he.
A moment later security came running, and the principal too.
But they found the hall empty and nothing to do—
Except for a small pile of dust and a working man, there was nothing to see.
. . . j