Patti Masterman


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.

Submitted: Saturday, April 17, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Of Cliques and Monopoly by Patti Masterman )

Read all 1 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Caged Bird
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  6. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. Boats Sail On The Rivers, Christina Georgina Rossetti
  10. Caged Bird, Maya Angelou
[Hata Bildir]