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Eight

EIGHT A deliberate surprise A shove from the back while creating artwork in my second-grade class Perhaps an ocean scene A distant angry memory of my eight-year-old consciousness The broken waxy blue crayon in my right hand Before me the ripped orange construction paper and a scattered image Girl bully momentarily reigned behind me her face encircled with frantic spirals…. a golden mane My neck flashed heat and then a cold sweat I challenged her to a fight In the girl’s bathroom that day Pale turquoise tiled walls screamed at me as I entered the ring Staring up I saw a field of wilting flowers…. wads of scrunched up soapy paper towels hurled up at the ceiling where they clung and appeared as corpses threatening to fall down on me at any moment The pungent thick air of girl bodies surrounded me…. A hungry lion appeared with open mouth ready to strike Tightly wrapped around each other A blur A blow to my right side A second to my stomach Descending to my knees catching my breath Rising up I landed an efforted blow on her left cheek An explosion within her wild starving eyes filled with superpower magnetism The pounce The strike My body collapsed… the blue tiles hugging me Sounds of silence Distant voices of teacher adults dispersing the crowd Inside the small stall crumpled body crying on the toilet seat head on my knees salty tears cascading Tasting them now With armor and shield bleeding …dented and broken my heart and soul rejoiced

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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Date: 1/2/2023 9:51:00 AM
My dearest Susan, I too, rejoice with your heart and soul for standing up to the fierce lion-maned bully on that fateful day. Such courage you displayed at such a young age, such a strong sense of self-esteem as to know that you didn't have to take it. I adore the fighting spirit of this poem, ready to defend against those who challenge your dignity and your right to be, thus honing your determination and confidence in the creative process of becoming you. The magic of your imagery brings me to the center of the scene fighting right by your side. Warmest wishes to you and yours for a healthy and happy new year, and may the power of the white hawk's wings wrap around you always. Love and hugs.. ~Susan <3
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 1/8/2023 11:28:00 PM
Dearest Susan ~ my soul and poetry sister . Your presence as well as your insightful mind and amazing perception are a cherished gift . Thank you for fighting along with me through this childhood memory . Your heart is there with me lifting me up and embracing me ! Thank you my friend . Even though this happened many years ago , my memory of it is etched in stone . Big hugs and all best wishes for a healthy and happy new year to you and yours . White hawk light and love to you always dear one . Xx Susan :)
Date: 9/20/2022 5:33:00 PM
Yes you rejoiced it was over. I have spent my life fighting. Sadly I grew up in the city of Rochester NY. Eventually we moved into suburbia but it made me who I am today and that is a Chrisitian. The scars are now a distant pass so glad to be alive today God spared me from the many times my life was in jeopardy. This brought back some memories. Quite the fight you had Dear lady. You look so sweet and kind. I know it was someone else that started , it always is. Love your overcomer side Susan.GBU
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 9/21/2022 6:01:00 PM
Dear Michael, It sounds like we experienced some of the same feelings. Even though I was very young I remember the details as if it was yesterday. I am glad your scars are past memories. Sounds like Rochester was a rough place. My parents met in medical school there many years ago. Your soul shines brightly . I am so happy we have met here on Soup ! Blessings, Susan :)
Date: 8/20/2022 6:43:00 AM
Wow, an action poem, with a message, and one where the world has not changed with time ay all, so glad to have read this Susan. Different from you, just shows your amazing diversity.
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 8/23/2022 12:50:00 PM
Hi Harry , I remember this event as if it was yesterday - sights, sounds, smells and emotions . So happy with your visit . I hope you are well . Big hugs and thank you ! Susan :)
Date: 4/28/2022 3:44:00 PM
Damn bullies I hate that, when I was a kid we Had a fluid lifestyle, and I had a new bully Each time we changed area, which is a lesson In itself I guess in the days before cell phones Tec humans still operate in similar ways to others (in the case of bullies) in a bad paradigm I remember once one started as I fought back Two others joined in, the next time my mother Was there pulling two off she said one at a time There were no takers.'
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 5/2/2022 8:28:00 AM
Wow ! Yes lots of turmoil we with bullies ! I see you experienced it as well . It is a poignant memory for me even so many years later. Thanks for your visit Joe ! Susan :)
Date: 2/26/2022 3:58:00 PM
Susan, your descriptive talents put the reader right there with you, rooting for you, crying with you, admiring your courage to stand up to bullying. The fact that this incident still resonates in your heart is testimony to the trauma that bullying creates. I'm sure many can relate. Thank you for sharing this powerful tale from your past. Blessings ~ John
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 2/27/2022 3:25:00 PM
Thank you dear John . In gratitude for your visit and comments. It’s still crystal clear many years later! Blessings, Susan :)
Date: 1/29/2022 10:19:00 PM
wow, what a fantastic description. The class bully girl challnged ME to a fight and she never met me at the designated place. i actually showed up not knowing what the heck i'd be getting into. i wonder if I could have messed her up?? I know today i could do it. I work out now!!
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 1/30/2022 8:35:00 AM
I love your response Andrea !!! Yes now that you work out you would have messed her up !! Big hugs my friend . Susan ::)
Date: 1/29/2022 10:19:00 PM
fave
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 1/30/2022 8:35:00 AM
Thank you !!
Date: 11/20/2021 8:23:00 PM
It's your fire and none has the right but you. You scale up well. Congrats
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 11/22/2021 7:25:00 AM
...it was a satisfying journey in the end. Thank you Gregory ! Susan :)
Date: 11/14/2021 11:55:00 AM
Good for you, Susan. I suppose that as an ex teacher I ought not to encourage fighting and retaliation, but there comes a time when one has to stand up for him/herself! When I first attended Secondary school somebody from the city tried to bully me coz I was a country boy...but I was having none of that, stood my ground and won the admiration of others....which reminds me of your end 2 lines!! A fav ~ Warm regards // paul
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 11/17/2021 10:52:00 AM
Paul, So many of us have been at the receiving end of bullying comments and physical abuse. At eight I just go to the point where I had had enough ! Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I am glad both of our hearts and souls rejoiced !! Hugs to you, Susan :)
Date: 8/28/2021 11:41:00 AM
I loved this poem Susan and must fav it! It so reminds me of an episode when I was a year older than you. I joined the boys at break time and loved playing marbles with them and they enjoyed having me around as I was fierce competition. A classmate reported me to my teacher, she called me out, and gave me five slaps with a ruler on each hand for simply playing with boys. The Headmaster heard of the incident and came to our classroom and made her apologize to me - how good I felt! Hugs Jenn.
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 8/28/2021 2:25:00 PM
Jennifer ...Yay for you !! Those childhood memories are seared into my heart and soul and skin and mind. It is as if it were only yesterday. I enjoyed reading about your encounter and its happy satisfying ending ! Big hugs to you my friend. Susan :)
Date: 4/27/2021 2:07:00 PM
wow, you really DID it. I had a girl bully me and so I challenged her to meet me at the park but she did not show up. She was blowing hot air (thank goodness since I do not know how well I could have fought at age 10!) GREAT images you used to show feelings and the images of the things around you in the bathroom. So creative.
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 4/29/2021 9:08:00 PM
Andrea, Thank you. Yes the memories are still vivid. I had to strike back even if it meant loosing the physical part of the fight. My mind and soul became stronger in that moment. All the best. Looking forward to more of your poems ! Susan :)
Date: 3/4/2021 3:10:00 PM
This is quite the story. I have been in a few schoolyard brawls so I can relate to this one. I’m glad I dropped by this afternoon. Nice to make your acquaintance. Blessings Rick.
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 4/29/2021 9:06:00 PM
Rick, Happy you stopped by as well. Yes ...Memories they are still so clear. All the best, Susan :)
Date: 1/5/2021 9:13:00 PM
What a powerful story, Susan - the metaphor of going into the lion's den so striking, excellent imagery!
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 1/9/2021 11:14:00 AM
Thank you Michelle . I am happy my poem moved you. I look forward to reading many more of your poems! Susan
Date: 10/13/2020 2:10:00 AM
I like the way you format your poems, I think that always helps in reading poems... This is a sad feel to it and you expressed it very well..
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 10/13/2020 3:42:00 PM
Thank you Silent One. I agree that formatting helps to understand intention and often emotion and I find it helpful as well. It was a sad moment in time and I can remember it as if it was yesterday. Susan
Date: 9/21/2020 6:18:00 AM
Well done...you can see it outside of you...Enjoyed the read
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 9/21/2020 9:13:00 AM
Thank you Arturo...:-)
Date: 9/20/2020 11:42:00 PM
They say school days are the best days of your life but thats not always the case. Sorry to hear you suffered at the hands of a bully. Painful memories like that are hard to forget, bullies and trolls are the scum of the earth. Welcome to soup Susan. Tom
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 9/21/2020 9:14:00 AM
Thank you Tom... Looking forward to reading more of your work. Susan :-)
Date: 9/20/2020 7:41:00 AM
I have a knot in my stomach as i was bullied throughout my school days... your poem is so graphic in its detail, bravo for writing it a poem which should be studied in schools, perhaps change would come, sadly so much bullying now seems to be on line... and its not just kids who are targeted!!:-( hugs jan xx
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 9/20/2020 2:03:00 PM
Jan,Thanks so much for reading my poem. I appreciate your comments. It is amazing how a situation like this can stay with you vividly for SO many years. I can still feel the emotions and remember details of those moments in time. I know you know as you were bullied as well. I realize today that it does happen online....what a world we live in . I look forward to reading more of your poetry. hugs to you susan :-)
Date: 9/19/2020 11:37:00 AM
Even in defeat one wins when one stands up for one's self! But the lure of the classroom during a pandemic remains a mystery! Aloha! Rico
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Susan Lawrence
Date: 1/30/2022 8:34:00 AM
Yes Rico you are right ! Even in defeat one wins …. I stood up for myself so I had triumph in my heart . Susan :)