not normal

when I was in grammar school
our teacher told us a story
about a man
who burst out with,
“The flag?   I hope that I never
see the flag again!”
“Very well,” he was told,
“you will get your
wish!”
and they put him in the
hold of a sailing ship
and kept him there,
sending him down his
food
and he died down there
without ever seeing the
flag again.

it was a real horror
story for the children,
very
effective.
but it wasn’t quite
as effective with
me.
I sat there thinking,
well, it’s too bad
about not seeing the
flag
but the best part was
not being able to see
other people.

I didn’t raise my hand to
say anything about that,
though.
that would mean that
I didn’t want to see them
either.
which was true.

I looked straight forward
at the blackboard
which looked far better
than
any of
them.