Amazing Kids! Magazine

Detention

By Gabi Kamran, Age 16, California

 

A boy sits
Behind a veneered desk writing
Cycles of lamentations in his notebook. Confined to
Detention with a dunce cap crown.
Every word is another bruise on his already battered hands.
Fair is out the window along with his toy
Gun and the afternoon’s forgotten homework
He dares to lift his pencil and look up at the clock only to remember that he
Isn’t going home until the sun goes down. Miss
Jackson watches him and
Keeps her lips pursed as she pats down the frizz on the crown of her head.
Lacking are the boy’s scribbles in any
Meaning except for a writer’s-cramped bruised and battered hand
Nothing but a stubby pencil getting shorter with the hours until it’s
Over and he gets to forget about the whole thing. Until then, the scratch of his
Pencil is drowned out by the sound of Miss Jackson’s YouTube videos.
Quiet is only the lost little cry that seems to be stuck in the boy’s throat.
Recycling bins wait in the corner to eat the boy’s inscrutable handwriting and
Spit them out again at 3:00 the next day.
Turn the page, a hundred lines of mourning to go.
Underneath the desk he feels the dry gum of his predecessors, once
Varying in color but now one gray lump beneath Ms. Jackson’s
Withering stare. She hides her afternoon dose of
Xanax under the table, packed with traces of the days when she was
Young and had to sit in detention. But instead of lamentations she had to add
Zeros and straight lines to make a basket of apples.