3 poems, by dan provost

a poem to the third-grade bully

“I was in Mrs. Bailey’s class for a while…
Then I moved away.”
3rd grade bully facebook post.

–and you were not missed.
–you caused pain & turmoil.
Internal strife to many of my classmates.

–suicidal tendencies in me as an adult.

–that’s not important anymore I tell
myself…move on.

Live free, accept defeat.
Pre-adolescence memories can be contained.

Zoloft, Prozac—drugs inducing
chemical change; maybe whiskey
or cocaine during your twenties, when
substance abuse helped you identify with
someone like Jim Carroll.

You were never missed bully.
We became a class of fearless kids.

Played whiffle ball during recess, never
worrying about being pummeled into a
bloody stain of embarrassment.

You’re self-kingdom of Mrs. Bailey’s
class was now exiled.

You were gone and we were happy.

Being truthful to myself however, staying
home from school because you threatened to
beat me up is a cowardice I still live with.

I still think I’m ineffectual sometimes…
A random sissy, still affected by my grammar
school fears.

I tell myself today that I would like to
run into you.

Look you in the eye, and punch
you in the mouth.

But, I would probably just pass
you on the street.

Bowing my head, not saying anything.

Still with that sting of fear, just realizing
your soul is still out there

terrorizing whoever decided to
enter your pathetic sphere.


another bout of jealously

Tired of the everyday
images all these phonies
try to portray

in their language of

I am a currier of

My wandering, salad
days just mix with
the boredom
of road.

Please, kneel in the snow
just once

To truly gather cold
around all your
pretense of


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