Tardy

Sophomore year–it is summer

yet I wear my JROTC uniform.

Bell rings and seagulls fly.

There is 20 seconds left.

I run across the courtyard, seagulls overhead, screaming.

They echo my thoughts–Oh shit, I think.

Oh shit is right. One of those damn seagulls shits all over my uniform.

This can’t be happening. 10 seconds left.

I dash into the rest room and

furiously scrub at my uniform. Sargent will not be happy.

5 seconds left.

I leave the bathroom and head to my classroom but it is too late.

I enter and apologize but

Mrs. Boyden says, “explain.”

Everyone looks at me. I don’t want to say. I take my hat off,

hold it in my hands like a good soldier.

“speak,” she says. So, I tell her how

I had to stop and wash the crap that was all over my uniform.

Everyone laughs at me. The teacher is silent.

I wait for her verdict

She kicks me out of class.

And I feel

shameful.

4 thoughts on “Tardy

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