Daniel

— Janet Trenchard

Even in the “at risk” school
(especially in the “at risk” school)
there will always be that student
who just opens up, shining,
taking everyone hostage,
shouting his poems loudly
in the quad,or, with my permission,
breaking into the glass globe gum machine
that we used as a still life in drawing,
stuffing as many pieces
of stale gum in his mouth as he could,
chewing the huge mass while rolling
on his back on a table, cheeks ballooning out,
a ring of students surrounding him,
cheering him on,
and laughing  derisively.
The gangster in a hairnet just looked at me,
nodding toward Daniel,
shaking his head in disgust, mouthing “crazy”
and I shrugged,  hiding a tiny smile,
“That’s our Daniel”.

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