Monday, June 11, 2012


he bullied me
all the time
in grammar school
then in early high school
everybody saw it
they laughed at me
he stole my cigarettes
then everyone left
and i sat alone
on park benches
with such great anger
i promised i would get even

i grew up
went to college
gained some smarts
and some muscle
but the hurt still lingered
i was damaged
but hid it away
in some small corner
of my psyche

i went on to a man's world
construction work
dangerous work
that required guts
and a lot of perspiration
i was has hard as the rock
and the men i worked with
i was ready
for when i met him again

he was an office worker now
pudgy, white-collar worldly
no longer to be feared
and i sat at a round table with him
and the people who saw what he did to me
i was drunk
and he was afraid
i sensed it in all my being
so i challenged him to go outside
to see if he could still steal my smokes
he declined
my buddy told me to stop
so i did

i found that i wasn't proud of this
saw him some ten years later
at a reunion
we'd both experienced cancer
his was worse
we both made it through
and i was truly glad for him
his swagger was gone
and so was mine
we both had learned something
respect for one-another
and humility
we were survivors
brothers at last.

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