The familiar sense of dread crept over him like the summer fog dragging a wet blanket over the city. As the bell for the last period of the day rang, the usual quivering in his gut began. He gathered his things slowly and carefully. Last to exit the classroom again. The boy knew he was only delaying the inevitable. Sure enough: the bully waited out of sight behind a neighbourhood rubbish bin, springing out as the boy walked by. “What a sissy, you ol’ four-eyes!” the meaty monster began, shoving the boy’s shoulder as he walked past. “Learn anythin’ new today, Space Cadet?” Another shove from behind, harder this time. The boy tried to control the shaking, each hand clutching a shoulder strap of his pack. He looked down at his feet as he briskly strode the sidewalk. “What’s a-matter, freak?” intoned the bully, racing to get ahead of the boy. His shaggy black hair fell in his eyes. “Is the little, bitty baby afraid? Aw! Run home to mamma.” With a leer on his face, the tormentor jumped in front of the boy, stopping him in his tracks. He put his fat sneering face just inches from the boy’s. “You make me sick, punk!” He stabbed one of his fingers into the boy’s chest. “You are a good-for-nothing idiot! You ought to go . . . ” He never finished. At that moment a huge, wild-haired woman jumped out of a car that had pulled up beside them. “Wilbur, you lazy good-for-nothing! You should have been home an hour ago.” She grabbed the bully, who seemed to have shrunk at least six inches, by one of his ears and shook his head like an agitating washer. “How (she slapped him across the face now as he raised his hands to shield himself) many (slap) times (slap) do I have to tell you, idiot: Be home by three!” She was shaking him now, like a puppy jouncing a rag doll. “Just wait till you get home, stupid. You are going to get it this time!” And she nearly threw him into the backseat of the vehicle. The boy watched the bully as the car pulled abruptly away from the curb. For a brief second the two boys’ eyes met. As he turned away to continue his walk home, the boy felt a strange ache in his middle.

*****************************************************************************************************

YES! It is April! And that means: National (or GLOBAL) Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo for short).
So, here I go again, on the writing roller coaster with hundreds of others across the earth. Why don’t you join us? Check it out here.

1 April: Write your own prose poem that, whatever title you choose to give it, is a story about the body. The poem should contain an encounter between two people, some spoken language, and at least one crisp visual image.