Children Poetry posted January 25, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
Why do kids bully?


by SA Owens

Her youngest son came home directly from school,
The second to last in their cherished carpool.
She knew in an instant that something was wrong,
As usual days he was mid-deep in song.
She gave him a hug, and in that embrace
Desperately wanted his pain to erase.
He told her that some boy had called him bad names
Because he chose not to be part of their games.
Her son said it wasn’t their first such exchange;
The boy was a bully and this would not change.
“It isn’t just me,” he said, voice getting loud;
“He always finds someone if there is a crowd."
"Notes from the teacher are ignored by his folks;
The principal’s office, he laughs at and jokes."
"He’s a horrible boy who most of us hate.”
With visible anger the boy shook himself straight.
His mother was silent and said not one word;
Then in just an instant, her message he heard.
“Son, I have always said right from the start,
Never be one who holds hate in your heart."
"Such negative feelings will harm only you,
And cause you much darkness; it’s certain and true.
We must always aim to be patient and kind,
And try to see why some are adversely inclined."
"It’s my strong belief that this boy has much fear,
Or anger or sadness; it’s something, my dear.
Very few children are born to oppress,
More likely it is that their life is a mess."
"Perhaps at home he is bullied by others --
A sibling, his father or even his mother.
Perhaps no attention or love is his case;
Believe it or not, such a fact he could face."
"I am not saying what he has done is okay,
Nor do I wish your response to downplay.
Rather, I ask that you’re open to see
That perhaps such behavior is more of a plea."
"Our family is happy and certainly blessed;
We are healthy, well fed and get plenty of rest.
We live in home that is safe and secure,
And our love for each other will always endure."
"But not everyone is endowed with such gifts;
Their burden is heavy and even harder to lift.
If you could try to show some compassion,
A resistance to teasing you likely could fashion.”
Her son took a moment and softened his stance;
He promised to give such a notion a chance.
He knew what his mother said sounded correct,
But wasn’t convinced it would have much effect.
The next day her son bounded through the front door,
Singing away just as he did before.
He then told his mother his day was just great;
The boy wasn’t mean to a single classmate.
Her son said the boy came up to him at lunch.
He seemed to be sorry; this was her son’s hunch.
Her son said they chatted a bit about soccer,
Then parted to get things from each of their lockers.
Her son said perhaps the boy’s not all that bad.
To this, his mom smiled and said she was glad.
Changing the topic, he shifted his weight;
“At what age is it that you said I could date?”



Of my two boys, only my youngest has had to deal with the occasional bully (though it was not an ongoing problem or ever escalated to anything physical). Nonetheless, my heart broke seeing my son so distraught and crying over the situation. But I also felt sad for the boy who targeted my son - what makes a child do such a thing? It wasn't just my son who this boy taunted, there were several kids, and the boy developed a reputation as one of the school bullies. The boy was forced to write an apology letter to my son (though my son felt he wasn't sorry at all). I have oftentimes wondered if the boy was just going through a stage or continued down that path. In any event, that's what prompted this poem. Thanks for your time.
Best, Susan
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