The Rules for Growth

My weekly poem for Five By Five Hundred.

five by five hundred

Simple times, then. A friendship sealed
over a traded lunch item, validated further
when the teacher made certain not to seat
the two of you together. Because the bond
is a distraction; it keeps you from learning
rules, process, structure. Eyes on your paper.
Betrayal hits a small body hard, an unbalanced
force: failure to save a seat. You get bigger,
taller, and the rules are changing faster than
you can keep up with them. And the classroom
now has become nothing short of a minefield.
There is nowhere to step that doesn’t yield
explosive paroxysms of laughter at your expense.
That’s when the rule is to create your own rules.

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