taking it back

taking it back
to my 6th grade class
and I was still a Steed
a boy named Jeremy
I think
died from cancer
the answer 
the school gave
was to hold a service
a remembrance
for Jeremy
and me I didn't go
I didn't go but I stayed 
in the classroom 
and took a study hall
I couldn't bear to haul 
myself to that service because before
he died
he was a 
total
jerk
a mean
and spiteful
person
and I
I didn't go to the service
people said it was
a mean
thing to do 
and spiteful
but I didn't go to the service
it would be disingenuous
and my name was 
Jen and being genuine was what
I wanted to do

and maybe that's what
you wanted to do
too
when five years later you wrote on the 
bathroom wall
Jen Steed is a fucking bitch
and that situation 
made me start
to think
to think about
who wouldn't go to my service

I
do not go gentle through this good life
and strife seems to find me
always has
but maybe it has always been me
me who has invited it in
to have a cup of hot coffee
me
I do that

When I yelled at Alisa in 5th grade to
Go faster on the monkey bars
you're too slow!
she invited the entire class to her birthday everyone
except me

In 7th grade I made
a couple cool girls 
Jessica
Danielle
so mad
they paid a sad 
boy named 
Danny
to pants me
to pants me in the middle of the quad

And in 11th grade the
writing was on the wall
you wanted to call
me out
and I
I don't think if I died
you'd go to my service 
because what purpose
would it serve is
maybe the question you'd ask
and I'd add
that I didn't go to Jeremy's service
either
and whether 
or not
you've forgiven me
for whatever it was I did
if I died before I said
I'm sorry 
I'm sorry

I take it back

but whoever you are
who marred 
that bathroom wall
that wake-up call
was what I needed
My name was Jen Steed and
I didn't go to the service
and I bet you won't go 
to mine
either.

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