Prep School Days

Measure once, cut twice:
terrible advice
for a carpenter,

perfect advice
for becoming
a bully.

We took Duncan’s measure early. 
Smart mouth, weak chin.
None of us were carpenter’s kids

except for him;
I was more like him
than not,

but had somehow
gotten tight with
the rich right crowd.

I grabbed Duncan
while Dickie swung
and Carl and Nick laughed.

He tried to get away
but I held on to his coat.
He hit the ground face first

when he pulled free of the sleeves
and momentum took him down.
He got up bleeding; we let him run.

Measure once, 
cut twice. Dickie
got him again

the next day as we
watched and laughed
from across the quad.

Duncan didn’t come
to the class reunion.
(Not many of us did.) 

I don’t know what happened to him. 
I only know
what has happened to me:

forever staring at my past,
getting smaller
in my memory.

Can’t say that
I’ve grown much

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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