Of Cliques And Monopoly - Poem by Patti Masterman
Doesn't everyone have to forgive themselves
For the half-formed, maladaptive masks
They once wore in youth? In school, I lived for years
Underneath a knitted navy blue cape
All through junior high, worn daily
To disguise newly sprouted breasts
And complementary curves in other places
They must have wondered then
If I had any arms at all, under there?
It was a teenage security blanket extraordinaire
Thank god, the cape finally gave way
Before high school, under it's relentless use.
By high school, I wanted to defy being labeled
Terrified of belonging to one particular sub-group
I lived in a shades-of-blue uniform all year;
Steel blue shirts, navy pants
No bright yelling colors, no makeup..
No school uniform could have been stricter-
I defied both convention and classification
Only my hair was unkempt, always in my eyes
Part of the covert rebellion perhaps:
I was in the army of one.
Since I refused steadfastly to identify with anything
I unwittingly joined ranks with the only group that fit me:
The outcasts. At lunch in the cafeteria; we, the dregs
Of high school society, sat at the edges of the room;
On the very last table; rungs on a ladder going nowhere,
And we fit together like a hinge
Swinging from side to side, as the doors opened,
And more often closed, on our expectations and ambitions:
Only one of us went to the prom
And not the one you would have guessed
One did drugs sometimes, but none of the others ever admitted to it.
I was the closet drinker no one knew about;
Always able to keep a secret, no matter what
My grades were really too high for the outcast group,
But therein lay it's beauty: no where else to go.
I never understood that my decision
To pledge myself to nobody and nothing
Exiled me by default, into the group that nobody wanted to be in
I have always underestimated the effect of decisions
Everything has always been all or nothing; black or white
Which means in monopoly terms, I always had overwhelming
Victories and defeats
And in my now-habitual role of non-conformist,
I have never been
To even a single high school reunion:
Somehow, I think they are not surprised.
Comments about Of Cliques And Monopoly by Patti Masterman
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe