Surviving the Hall

Standing at the mouth, seeing the belly of the beast.

Steps I take toward the impending digestion.

Strange people. Getting lost. Go here, or there?

Strange people, rainbows of hair, and this weird language called English.

Sizzling glares burning down my confidence.

“Chink!” and “squinty eyes!” flung at me like rocks in a stoning.

Makes me want to sink into my Mao suit, and

hide away from the voices rattling in my brain.

Whispers: they are the judge, jury, and executioner,

of the unknown sins for which I'm atoning.

An “unintended” bully’s shove knocks me to the ground,

a hammer to my now aching shoulder.

The snickers that follow spell the “new kid” outcome of my day.

Beads of sweat run down my face.

Or are they tears?

Or fears that bring me to tears?

Now, I felt all the eyes prying into me.

Now, it was time to dry up my fears,

and take in the good and the bad.

Or at least the bad.

A steely countenance sweeps over me,

shielding the pain inside, unseen.

Finding my locker, cold as Jack Frost’s nose,

small, cramped, and lonely.

This, serving as a brief reminder of my social quarantine.

Lonesomeness, a mess of burdensome chains

weighing down every heavy-hearted step.

Small beams of autumn sunlight peaked through the trees outside,

and into the windows of the bustling classroom I now entered.

The teacher directs me to my seat,

in the midst of the “student sea.”

I take out my supplies, forming the society of my desk.

Opening the smooth, rigid cover of my “new book” smelling textbook,

I stare at a misprinted word

separate from all the others on the first page.

Remind you of someone?

My head down, eyes closed, a tap on my shoulder grabs my attention.

Turn to a smile and “hello,” where my day has truly begun.


This poem is about: 
My family
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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