We need…

He comes in with curiosity and excitement,

running to the desk that bares his name.

His mother hides her eyes, but the tension

can be seen in the shoulders under the threadbare sweater.


“We need…” the teacher says, handing her the list.


He comes in with sleepy eyes and hunger,

walking slowly to the desk that bares his name.

The tag, slightly worn, is beginning to peel

from anxious fingers that have worried the edges.


“We need…” the principal says, leading him to the office.


He comes in with dirty clothes and anger,

slumping in to the chair at a desk that bore his name.

The fury ebbing off him in walls of confusion,

as he pushes away another book full of indecipherable symbols.


“We need…” the School Board says, as they push another test.


He doesn’t come in anymore, the streets have won.

There is no longer a desk for him, not that he cares.

He has found a place that won’t demand things

he can’t give or require what he doesn’t have.


“We need you to see us,” the children say with eyes weary and old.



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