Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Assignment from BellaDonna

My new friend BellaDonna challenged me in her comment regarding my blog The Power of Words. Maybe challenged is a little strong. Always the professor, this is what she said:

Words are powerful because they have the ability to create or to destroy.

Think about that. What examples spring to mind?

Here's a prompt: Write a poem (or piece of prose) on the creative -- or destructive -- potential in words, using specific examples.

Well, here goes:

The teenage boy sat in the back of the classroom. He was three months into seventh grade and things were so different at this new school. Always before, in elementary school, he had been the class clown; the outgoing one. Now, in this new environment, he found himself the target of abuse. Verbal and physical abuse.

Here he comes. It's fat boy.

Look at his clothes.

You're ugly.


Taunts all day long. His books would disappear, only to be found hidden away.

Homework would be stolen, then grudgingly returned.

The outgoing little boy was disappearing, and a shy, introverted young man was taking his place.

Sometimes, that class clown would come out. The cheerleader made the class clown come out; the boy liked the cheerleader. So one day between classes, at her locker, the class clown asked her to go to a dance. After she got over the shock, what came next was not words, but laughter. Her friends joined in with her. The laughter cut just like well used words can cut. After that, the clown followed the advice of the Beatles. He hid his love away.

The teenage boy grew up to be a man. A quiet man. He became friends by graduation with all that originally bullied him. Even the cheerleader, who actually apologized.

He lives a quiet but happy life now. Most of the time. I see him every morning.


How do I know all this?

The teenage boy was me.

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