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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Elementary School (07/19/04)

TITLE: No Great Expectations
By Melanie Kerr
07/24/04

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You had no expectations
As I walked through your door
A "Wilkinson" from "King style Close"
You'd met their kind before

"She'll be just like her sisters
There'll be no hidden gem"
So you wrote upon your label
"Just another one of them"

You gave me lists of words to spell
You said, "Learn them at home"
And when I mixed the letters round
All you did was moan

You sang a song called "Tables"
You said, "What's seven times three?"
I know I'd learned the tune so well
But the words evaded me.

You gave me sticks of charcoal
You said, "Go draw your friend"
I couldn't catch her likeness
And failed in the end

You gave me wool and needles
You said, "Go knit a square"
You focused on the holes you saw
The bits that were not there

Stripped down to vest and knickers
You said, "Go race your peers"
And when I came in last
You didn't see my tears

You missed me in the playground
Finding those that were alone
Sharing balls and skipping ropes
Never playing on my own

You always looked for failures
And things I could not do
So you never saw the kindness
That was always shining through

You never glimpsed the butterfly
My friends could always see
To you I was that caterpillar
On a leaf, on the family tree


Member Comments
Member Date
Angela Moore07/26/04
What a sad tale. The rhythm, at times was hard to keep, but your imagery was well done. I especially liked your closing stanza.
darlene hight07/26/04
Melanie,
I thought this poem was great and such a true reminder.It's not about achievement!
WENDY DECKER07/26/04
Melanie, Although very sad, i thought your poem was very good and one many others could relate to. I disagree in re: the rhythm, I felt it moved right along. Nice job.
Deborah Anderson07/26/04
This is sad, but it brings to mind something I remember reading once. Some of our greatest writings come from our greatest pain. Thank you and God bless you.
L.M. Lee07/26/04
ah.... this was so tender. loved the ending.