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High School Hatred

Do you have skeletons
In your locker?

Is your backpack
Getting heavy,
Carrying around
The stones people
Have thrown at you?

(Why did you ever insist
On picking them up,

Is your pencil box
Filled with pencils
That write in
Other people’s
Critical voices?

How much of your life
Is determined by
High school
Hatred and shame?

Your soul is like
The ugly duckling

(This may be the first
Compliment you’ve heard
In a while…)

Let it develop
Into something
Too beautiful
For the ones
Who don’t know how
To love
A transcendent creature
Like yourself

Summer is almost here
The school of cruelty
Is almost out

Walk out those doors

(With all of those
Skeletons and stones
And terribly crooked pencils)

And don’t ever look back

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Last few words: 
A poem that might be good addressed at teenagers, but which applies all too much in my life now, as someone in their late 30s. "High school hatred" seems to follow us around. Whether it's wounds we received there, that continue to resurface, or fresh wounds at the hands of our family, co workers, peers, etc. Not to be too melodramatic. But writing this was certainly cathartic.
Editing stage: 


It is so easy to sound preachy or patronising. You avoid it here, but only just, by allowing a bitsy bit of your own vulnerability to show.

I had a slightly different perspective of school. The skeletons in my locker were my enemies. My backpack was heavy from the stink and smokebombs I threw at others, my pencil-case was full of pot, and I partied on for another 42 years. 60 now and school pretty much sucked but it didn't hold me back.

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thanks for your words and advice, jess. i used the you as a way of relating compassionately with the reader in this one. though it might be just as good or better as an "i". your recounting is funny. i didn't really hate high school personally. stayed too busy in theater, sports, with girls, and the like. but i think some of the hatred seeped into my bones, lodged itself in places that come out like weakened bones in bad weather. always love your comments. thanks!

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