About School

He always wanted to explain things, but no one cared.

So he drew.

Sometimes, he would just draw and it wasn’t anything.

He wanted to carve it in stone or write it in the sky.

He would be out on the grass and look out in the sky, and it would only be the sky and

the things inside him that needed saying.

 

and it was after that he drew the picture.

It was a beautiful picture.

He kept it under his pillow and would let no one see it

and when it was dark and his eyes were closed he could see it still

and it was all of him and he loved it.

When he started school, he brought it with him not to show anyone, but just to have it

with him like a friend.

 

It was funny about school.

He sat in a square brown desk like all the other square brown desks and he thought it

would be red, and his room was square and brown, like all the other rooms, and it was

tight and close and stiff.

He hated to hold the pencil and chalk, with his arm stiff and his feet flat on the floor stiff,

with the teacher watching.

The teacher came and spoke to him.

She told him to wear a tie

like all the other boys.

He said he didn’t like them and she said it didn’t matter.

After that they drew. and he all yellow and it was the way

he felt about morning, and it was beautiful

The teacher came and smiled at him. What’s this? She said.

Why don’t you draw something like Ken’s?

Isn’t it beautiful?

After that his mother bought him a tie and he always drew airplanes and rocket ships

like everyone else and he threw the old picture away.

and he lay alone looking at the sky, it was big and blue and all of everything, but he

wasn’t anymore.

He was square and brown inside and his hands were stiff and he was like everyone else.

All the things inside that needed saying didn’t need it anymore.

 

It has stopped pushing.

It was crushed.

 

Stiff

Like everything else.

 

The poem above was published anonymously in the February 1974 edition of the Student Free Press, an underground newspaper founded by Lisgar students. To learn more about Lisgar student activism in the 1970s and other slices of the school’s history, check out our 175th Anniversary Edition next month.

 

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