Our class was assigned to write a poem. Anything we wanted- as long as it had to do with school. Naturally we had to make it appropriate too. So I took my thoughts and hatred about the other children into words. Why wouldn't they respect anyone? Why didn't teachers actually teach us about something important? Among other topics of that line.
We had thirty-five minutes to write it. Really? What can a little (well, big at the time) eighth grader write about? Especially when I only knew the poem by Robert Frost about two roads going somewhere. And the other one about a wall in the middle of a farm or something.
Speaking of which: The only reason I remembered those two poems were because I was pissed off at Robert Frost. He stole my first name!
So Back on Topic: After those thirty-five minutes of me begrudgingly writing; I figured something out. A girl who sat beside me told me it was really good. She was only in the room because her teacher was out and there was no substitute. We both sat in the back that day. Inspired by her, I rose my hand to go second.
My good friend offered to go first. He was in the front row. His poem was about the importance of incorporating pie into our lunch menu. Everyone laughed and applauded. When he sat I walked to the front on shaky legs.
Back then I was really nervous around folks. Since birth I have been inflicted by a speech impediment. Some people ignore it, others tease me. Clearing my throat and face burning; I looked around the room. Friends were smiling expectantly- always calling me a "cool guy". Others were bored out of their minds.
Until I spoke. I don't remember the poem I wrote along time ago. It disappeared in the chaos of my room and maybe even the trash can. Over the years I've noticed people watching me carefully- as a subject of great intrigue. Apparently despite the defect, people just like to listen to what I say. The effect on these similar young minds was no different.
A standing ovation deafened me in that very small room. My poem was important; world changing! I couldn't believe it until my teacher asked to read it on paper. As she did her smile widened. It was that good. Something I wrote- my first real piece; was that good!
That was only the beginning....