Friday, January 19, 2007

Poem #19 of 365

I called his name
twice aloud,
and his classmates
offered explanation.

He is always late.
He never comes on time.

When he finally slouches
in, bypassing me with
a stride of expectant

I call him to my table,
insist on proprieties,
look into his eyes,
and he returns the respect.

I count him present,
give him a chance,
as he brings a chair
away from the others
to sit near me.

When it's time to do
work, I tell him to
distribute the papers,
which he does with
a relaxed smile,

He says, I've never been
asked to do this before.
And I let it slide, opt
not to share a favored quote *

with this
discarded boy
who just minutes before
was labeled gangster, bad.

* "Every human being is worth more than the worst thing they ever did." - Sister Helen Prejean, anti-death penalty activist and author, DEAD MAN WALKING.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

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