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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Checkout (06/09/11)

TITLE: On the Curb
By Benjamin Graber
06/09/11


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Your friends and your rivals line up
To checkout precious tidbits
Of information,
Which they will take home
And use,
Every day
For the rest of their lives.

But not you—
You checked out long ago,
Opting only to take home
A hopeless sense
Of failure.

You’re the one the teachers said
Would never become anything,
The one who sat on the curb
Tossing rocks,
While the others wandered
Through the bazaar
Gathering the little treasures
That caught their eyes.

Your teachers tried to entice you,
Bringing more flashy colors
To catch your eye,
More tasty sweets
To tempt your lips,
And more feathers for you to arrange
Upon your cap,
But you would have none of it,
Choosing to toss rocks
And build a résumé
Of failures.

But I think all you really need
Is someone who cares,
Who dares to take your hand
And sit by your side,
Who throws away
Your résumé;

Someone who shows you
The wonder and the beauty
Of each stone you toss,
Revealing the treasures
All around you
Even as you sit
On the curb.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Patricia Turner06/17/11
This paints such a sad picture. I visualize a child who's just been picked on too many times. I like the hopeful finish. In the first stanza, it should be check out (2 words), though the story is clearly about someone who's chosen to checkout of what seems to be a miserable life.
Laury Hubrich 06/19/11
This reminds me of a high school graduate - a 'now what do I do' kind of thing. No more teachers there to feed information into the MC anymore. Maybe it's a friend? a future wife/husband? a relationship with the Lord?

Very nice open-ended poem to get a discussion going:)