Pages

Thursday, March 10, 2016

SLICE #10

I see him leaning against the wall
at the end of the hall
from four doors down.
His body language screams.
HE IS MAD.
This is not the sweet, gentle,
trumpet playing guy.
I knew three years ago.
That kid spoke no English.
But he smiled. A lot.
This one does not ever smile.
HE IS MAD.
By the time I can reach him
there is another problem.
The science teacher opens her door.
Tells me that a student feels faint.
Needs my help.
I guide him to a chair.
Get him a drink.
Send my MAD friend
to the office to get the nurse.
There is a flurry of activity.
The nurse. Stethoscope. Blood pressure cuff.
And then we are alone again.
I ask if he is ok.
He does not answer.
And so I venture out onto thin ice.
Tell him I remember him in fifth grade.
The sweet smile.
Laughing eyes.
The trumpet.
I tell him I have heard that his dad is in Mexico.

Ask if he will see him for spring break.
He says no.
I ask if he gets to talk to his dad.
He says they talk every night by phone.
But I bet it's still really hard, I say.
He nods.
And blinks
to rid his eyes
of that shiny
teenage boys'
just before tears look.
I ask if there is anything I can do.
He shakes his head.
I ask I can set him up
with the psychologist.
I am surprised when he says yes.
"I'm so mad," he says.
"My family is always asking me
why I am so mad."
And I don't know
what to do about it.
I open my laptop
And we write an email
requesting help.
because no kid
should have
to feel
that alone.
Sometimes MAD
feels a lot like
ALONE.

3 comments:

Pat Holloway said...

Thank you for being there for him. Often kids at this age need another person to listen and you did!

sroeck said...

UGH! I feel so helpless when I can't help a student who needs the help. I have a student with huge anxiety issues and I really don't know what to do. They don't train you enough in school sometimes.

Jane Helms said...

Wonderful framework with emotional resonance. You brought him out gently and clearly. I hope that he will be okay.