Tuesday, September 25, 2012

poem of the day 09.25.12

the nerd

we were about
thirteen or fourteen

sarah carried herself gangly
had a head of blonde hair
that shook on the top of her head
like a circus clown

big glasses that covered her pale face

carl glavin was the one
who decided that she was a nerd

so that’s what we called her
whenever sarah walked down the hallway at school
or whenever she spoke in class

nerd, carl glavin would say
in this sneering whine
as the rest of us boys laughed at him

the teachers would get angry and scold us

the girls in class would scowl
because we were making fun of one of their own

nerd, in the lunchroom
nerd, in gym class

if it bothered sarah you couldn’t tell
except maybe her face turned red
every once in a while

she seemed well-adjusted
had a lot of friends
and wasn’t really all that nerdy grade wise

i think carl just liked to pick on people
because his old man
was an oligarchical douche bag
and his mother drank away her suburban existence

there were days when carl turned on his own kind
and you were the nerd for the day
nerd, in science class
nerd, in math class
or nerd at recess when carl had packs of boys
chase you around the campus

but he always seemed to go back to sarah

he’d call her a nerd when she read a book report
a nerd everywhere she went on the eighth-grade trip

he called her a nerd
when we saw her at the mall on memorial day weekend

at graduation carl called sarah a nerd
when she went to get her diploma
but no one laughed

most of us were done with eighth grade
and everyone was done with carl

the other day i heard some boys
calling someone a nerd

i looked up thinking i’d see carl’s fat face
and his long burn-out hair

but i hadn’t seen him for almost twenty years

as for sarah
she’s on facebook of all things

she’s successful and married with three kids

she looks good for her age

we share a lot of the same friends
but haven’t reconnected

i thought about sending her an email
but i’m afraid she wouldn’t respond

time being relative and all.


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