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Grade
11

Once, In eighth grade,

    We had an assignment to write

    About ourselves.

 

It was easy enough,

    Until I got to the question,

    “When was a time you wished

    That you had more guts?”

 

Now, my brain instantly flashed

    To one memory in particular,

    And no matter how hard I tried,

    I couldn’t think of anything else.

 

In that moment, I would have given

    Anything to not have thought about:

    How loud he was yelling at her,

    Frightening me as I sat helpless

    In the passenger seat of her truck.

 

In that eighth grade language arts classroom,

    I was being tormented of scenes of:

    Him trying to reach into her truck,

    Reaching to take the keys,

    Her yelling at and hitting him,

    And me, crying and begging them to stop.

 

I was so distracted by these memories,

    That the bell rang,

    And I never got past that question.

 

The question haunted me,

    Followed me around all day.

    And, with it, came the flood of:

    Her, trying to use me

    To guilt him into stopping;

    It didn’t work.

 

Unfortunately, this soon lead to

A flurry,

    A tornado,

          A blizzard,

                A hurricane

    Of sounds filled my head:

    Yelling

    Screaming

    Crying

    Tires burning rubber on pavement

    Breaking glass

 

The next day, I once again faced the question,

    “When was a time you wished

    That you had more guts?”

 

I simply put, “In the classroom.”

State
IA
Zip Code
50660