Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When a Mortal and the Gods Clashed

It was evening and in the adult school parking lot,
Groups of young men met sullenly by their cars,
Handshakes with home boys were silently sought,
None looked too excited to learn their three R’s,

Despite a strict dress code in place for years,
They wore casual pants that sagged to their knees,
Some wore caps or hair nets over their ears,
Soon I would be saying, “Pull your pants up, please,”

While the young men waited, their faces were grave,
Low riders, new BMW’s, pick-ups, beefed up stock,
Were compared and evaluated for the status they gave,
Against a background of Mariachis, rap, and punk rock,

Soon the young men’s attention to cars grew thin,
Girls arrived, some with parents, some with friends,
Wearing tight jeans and tops that revealed too much skin,
I wondered, “How will lessons entice anyone to come in?”

First, one young lady entered, then two, then three,
I directed them to assigned seats around the room,
The boys watched the girls, the girls complained to me,
“Do I have to sit here? Next to him I’ll be quiet as a tomb,”

I finished the roll and held up my hand,
“I expect you to be orderly the next time we meet,
This is your first night; I want you to understand,
You’ll come in quietly and sit in your seat,”

“Now I want you to listen and be quiet,
Focus on your English assignment tonight,
I want you to think deeply before you write,
‘What would you change to make the world right?’”

“Melissa, did you want to share what you wrote?”
“Yes, Mr. R, I have things to clean from my life,
There are creatures that are in my life’s boat,
They ruin my dreams and cause me much strife,”

She looked around while she played with her hair,
She was an actress, letting the moment grow,
“I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, and I don’t care,
You’ve ignored me too much, the real me you don’t know,”

“My psychiatrist asks questions, he just has to die,
Along with two girls in gym class who played me for a fool,
My parents who said no to my boyfriend, and won’t say why,
I think I’m justified if I really lose my cool,”

“Two of my friends will join me in this endeavor,
This is not a harmless prank or a silly little caper,
History will be made because they owe me a favor,
Oh, yes, Mr. R, you too, because I had to write this paper,”

I called for security to remove her from class,
She left quietly, no smile on her face,
She met with her counselor and another big brass,
They brought her back in, “Where’s her place?”

 “You don’t understand, she needs this class,”
I looked at big brass calmly, “I’ll just say no,”
The counselor said, “If she doesn’t get it, she won’t pass,”
“No,” I repeated, “Because of her threats she’ll have to go,”

Maybe I was stubborn, I would rather say resolute,
When the forces gathered I refused to bend,
To me this was more than a simple dispute,
I didn’t think threats should ever begin,

I found out she was a judge’s daughter with lots of clout,
Odin’s thunder rolled and lightning flashed,
She quickly re-enrolled and I was out,
The evening when a mortal and the gods clashed.


  1. brilliantly done!
    I enjoyed this very much. loved the flow and imagery is vivid.

    I hope this didn't really happen to you.

    thank you for your visit and very kind comment on my poems
    looking forward to reading more from you

    take care

  2. To a poet great truths come from life and take the shape of the poem. The poem is true mostly.


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