Ancient Bones

Standing on a street corner, I use a crossing-guard STOP sign to bat small rocks at passing semis, feeling deep delight when I hit the moving targets and they continue on by. Blocks away from my school, Iím supposed to be here for the safety of my younger schoolmates, to help them cross this busy road. The waits between kids are boring and I find this rock-badminton much more entertaining.

I know Iíll be in trouble tomorrow when the Principal hears what Iíve been doing, because some of the kids said they would rat me out. Probably get the strap again. I just donít care. As a Grade Sixer, an almost teenager, I find myself feeling lots of mixed feelings, acting on some of them, behaving badly. Lately, Iíve been rebelling in different ways. For example, I know when Iím finished here and walk home, Iíll head through the alleys talking to myself, swear up a storm of words and phrases Iím not supposed to know, dare any on-lookers to stop me. Iíll probably bark at my mom when she tells me to do my chores. Itís just the way it is lately.

When he gets home, my dad calls down to my basement room telling me to get upstairs, ďNow!Ē. Apparently, the principal called him at work, and a few of the neighbors spoke to him when he parked his car. My mother must have told him how I spoke to her.

He shouts, demands to know whatís gotten into me. Head bowed, quaking, I mumble, ďI donít know.Ē His anger scares me, and my tension ramps up when he looks at the serrated strap on the wall. I have no idea what my anger and rebellion is about, but itís there.

He chooses instead to shake his head, quietly say, ďIím disappointed boy. Itís time to grow up, behave like a man.Ē Turning his back to me, he walks away as if disowning me.

That rips me up! I chide myself, swear to put aside my childish ways, end these foolish rebellions.

a fossilized skeleton
trapped in the rock
a forgotten child