A job worth doing is worth doing well
echoed down from parents like a knell.
When nine, Joe goes to summer camp.
Athletic, agile, quick, he is a champ
at many sports. Though shy, he makes some friends,
a heavy, large-eyed boy no one defends
among them. Other boys decide to call
him “chubs” and “bug-eyes”, and love to watch him fall;
being neither athletic, agile nor quick
he often trips in games. They think he’s thick
because he’s fat (meaning they think he’s dumb) .
He looks to Joe for equilibrium.
But assailing Joe for a poor choice of a friend,
they hector him; Joe yields at the end.
Let’s do a good job on him, the rest all say,
and make a hell for “bug-eyes” on the last day.
The last day of the camp is finally there.
Joe and his friends are waiting in their lair.
They taunt the heavy, large-eyed boy beyond
the bounds; they hear their laughter correspond
to tears falling from large eyes. He turns
to Joe, screams “NO! ”, and runs away. Joe burns
the look, the tears, and scream into his head,
wipes his grin off and wishes he was dead;
he called a friendly boy “bug-eyes” and fat.
And since that day, when Joe remembers that
from time to time, he journeys down to hell.
Some jobs are not worth doing, even well.