Once on yellow sheet of paper with green lines, he wrote a poemand he called it Spotbecause that was the name of his dog and that’s what it was all aboutand his teacher gave him an A and a big gold starand his mother hung it on the kitchen cupboard and showed it to his auntand that was the year his sister was born-and his parents kissed all the timeand the little girl around the corner sent him a postcard with a row of X’s on itand his father tucked him into bed at night and was always there.Then on a white sheet of paper with blue lines, he wrote another poemand he called it Autumnbecause that was the time of year and that’s what it was all aboutand his teacher gave him an A and told him to write more clearlyand his mother told him not to hang it on the kitchen cupboard because it left marksand that was the year his sister got glasses and his parents never kissed anymoreand the little girl around the corner laughed when he fell down with his bikeand his father didn’t tuck him in at night.So, on another piece of paper torn from a notebook he wrote another poemand he called it Absolutely NothingBecause that’s what it was all aboutand his teach gave him an A and a hard searching lookand he didn’t show it to his motherand that was the year he caught his sister necking on the back porchand the little girl around the corner wore too much make-up so that he laughed when he kissed herbut he kissed her anywayand he tucked himself in bed at three AM with his father snoring loudly in the next roomFinally, on the inside of a matchbook he wrote another poemand he called it ? because that’s what it was all aboutAnd he gave himself an A and a slash on each wrist and hung it on the bathroom mirrorBecause he couldn’t make it to the kitchen.
Earl Reum