POEM : I met a mean man today.
He just had a look
A look not good
A look like
I tried to smile
but he wouldn’t have it.
He’s mean, man.
Hey mean man,
I smiled again.
This time I got something back,
But then distraction;
a child ran up, a smelly one,
and I forgot about the mean man
and I said hey whatcha want?
to the kid,
and they wanted something, maybe some food, but I was busy so I said wait til your mom’s around she can help you tomorrow,
and next thing I knew the mean man was watching and he didn’t have a good look,
he had a mean face, like a face that
is haggard and wary.
and not to be mean, but he hadn’t shaved in a while and it was not a good look.
I didn’t know for sure how mean he might be until another kid come up.
My knee’s bleeding and it hurts! he cried.
Okay, we should amputate it,
the man, the mean man said.
Trying to be funny.
How do you amputate a knee?
He smelled a little funny too,
like not funny flower smelly,
but funny bad breath, sweaty armpit stink smelly.
The kind of smell only mean men have.
I glared at him to show I wasn’t afraid.
You can’t back down with the mean ones. Another kid crawled up.
The mean man snarled at him.
I cringed inside, but matched his expression; ya gotta stay strong.
Apparently this babe wanted a book.
The mean man took away the Eric Van Lustbader and gave him an Eric Carle instead.
Let kids figure out what literature they like, right?
This dude, he just stands there looking like he trying to look all cool.
Trying to stand tall, but you know he packing extra pounds, probably from all the extra calories you get from being mean.
I try to give him a break.
Maybe he’s tired.
Maybe he’s having a bad day.
Maybe his kids are really horrible.
I sneak a glance again and I can totally tell. This dude is mean through and through.
Should I hit him and nicen him up?
I lift my fist a skoche.
He does the same.
I relax, ya gotta deescelate the situation sometimes.
He lowers his too.
I gotta leave.
Hain’t gonna be friends with this uncool cat.
I shake my head and turn my back,
a subtle brush off.
Infuriatingly, he steal my move.
Kids yelling for him. Or me? One of us.
Gonna jet. Apparently he does too.
To be mean man’s kid.
Awful. Poor children.
Gotta put it behind me.
I got my own to worry about.
I snarl at the children.
We gotta go! What’s taking you so long?
Not gonna deal with the mean man again. See! He’s already rubbing off on me.
No more mean man.
Not gonna see him no more.
Not until we get back,
when I pass by the mirror again.