Experience Poem 2!

! Water Pants! ! ! !

“Water pants!”! Everywhere I went:! “Water pants!”! Every time I turned around:! “Water pants!”! That’s what they ! called me for three years.! After recess! in the middle of math! I realized the pressure! growing on my bladder.! The uncomfortable pressure.! I raised my hand,! “What do you want, Mr. Bray?”! Whenever she referred! to one of us as Mr. or Ms.! There was a sneer, a snarl ! of fake politeness;! an insincere gesture ! from a by gone era in the! voice of Ms. Simonson’s.! “May (We ALWAYS Said May),! May I use the restroom?”! It came out as a whisper, ! although I attempted regular volume,! but she heard it well enough.! “Why didn’t you go at recess?”! “Because I didn’t have to go at recess! you crazy old hag,”! Raced through my mind,! but I would never dare to say that…! my hand went down.! “I… I… I didn’t need to go then.”! “Well, you don’t NEED to go now.”!

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34 + 22 = 56! 78 — 16 = 62! 25 + 12 = …! Focusing on math is difficult! with a bladder full of liquid! about to burst.! 21 — 9 = 12! 13 + 13 = 26!

Does that make it! Double the bad luck?! Time pushing onward! toward lunch, but ! still 40 minutes away! and the pressure building,! mounting, growing! Think about something else,! anything else.! “Are you OK?” mouthed ! Mike Stewart while ! Simonson faced the board.! A horrible risk on his part,! she was watching me.! Once you showed weakness! she was always watching.! Always poised to strike.!

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There was no more! ability left to fight,! no more will,! no more resolve,! only the pain of complete discomfort.! I raised my hand,! a desperate act.! She would feed upon my weakness.! Making her feel superior! to a child…! Ms. Simonson, “What is it now, Mr. Bray?”! that voice attacked with a hoarse shrill! from too many cigarettes;! her breath was an ash tray.! “Ms. Simonson, may I please use the restroom?”! 40 minutes of agony…! “No!”! “Fine, then I’ll go right here.”!

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“Water pants!”! That is what! Billy Mauricek called me.! Then it spread! to the entire fourth grade class,! and then the third grade,! But the second graders and first graders! shared a room! and they never called me that.! They knew what happened that day;! they knew it could happen to them.! “Water pants!”

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