Laughing

Ms. Sophie’s lesson

was interrupted

when Patty

sitting in front of me

soaked her panties,

the chair,

the floor

I had no thought

of being mean

Totally surprised

by the urine stream

Spontaneous laugh

attention drawn

creating outbursts

in the class

Almost wet myself

Action I now deplore

I was only seven then

But damn it felt good to laugh

a rarity at my house

Similar to Patty

my body craved a release

a different kind

So pent-up inside was my need

once I began

I couldn’t stop

It was contagious

The class infected

Aching sides

Teary eyes

Flopping

Dropping

Rolling in the aisles

Only two

without laughter and smiles

Teacher

turned preacher

sermonizing our sin

And Patty

turned to stone

in wet panties

on a wet seat

above a damp floor

so alone

How could she know

our laughter

was no longer

about her?

She merely provided

the spark

We were tinder

ready to burn

Kids in a community

with nothing to smile about

nothing to laugh about

except each other

Poverty

supplied the punch-line

We… were the joke

© JW Thomas

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22 thoughts on “Laughing

  1. milkywayofmud April 16, 2016 / 11:49 pm

    Brilliant. Laughed and nearly cried myself. Thankfully, I managed not to wet myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jwtatfbc April 16, 2016 / 11:59 pm

      Thank you, Kay. I’ve found that lessons don’t always have to be somber and dreary.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jwtatfbc April 17, 2016 / 3:46 am

      As you should, my friend. It was one of those many things kids do that they end up regretting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 17, 2016 / 3:51 am

        It reminded me of an incident I witnessed in 6th grade–a girl in my class got her period for the first time and didn’t know until she got up from her chair and the back of her skirt was bloody. To make matters worse, we had a male teacher. The girl was mortified, but at least no one laughed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 17, 2016 / 3:53 am

        I understand, completely. But we were only seven, and the part about needing a release in laughter… any emotion was real in a barrio.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 17, 2016 / 3:56 am

        I understand completely…sometimes laughter is in such short supply one takes it where one can find it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 17, 2016 / 3:57 am

        It didn’t make it right, but it was needed. I’m glad you liked the flow of the piece, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 17, 2016 / 4:00 am

        I did…you have a way of stringing words together that sounds musical…of course that shouldn’t surprise me since you are a songwriter and musician. It comes naturally, my friend. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 17, 2016 / 4:02 am

        Thank you for noticing that. I enjoy sounding out words for a lyrical quality. It’s part of my pleasure when writing, Pretty Lady.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 17, 2016 / 4:07 am

        Word flow is the base of all good poetry, I think. Without it, the rest falls short, becoming just a string of words–which I’ve seen before passed off as poetry.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 17, 2016 / 4:09 am

        I couldn’t agree more, my friend. You’re pretty good at it yourself when you have a topic you’re keyed in on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 17, 2016 / 4:13 am

        I enjoy reading poetry, but as for writing it, I’m an amateur and the urge to write a poem strikes only occasionally. Prose will always be my first love.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 17, 2016 / 4:15 am

        Well, I enjoy reading both from you, my friend. You do have a wild and interesting imagination that keeps the reader interested as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 17, 2016 / 4:19 am

        It’s those crazy people in my head…they do all the talking…not me. 😀
        But I do admire people such as yourself whose writing seems effortless, like it just flows out of its own accord. Mine feels as difficult as pulling teeth for the most part.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 17, 2016 / 4:22 am

        I have my crazy people meet your crazy people and we’ll see what comes out of it, my friend… ha ha I’m glad you keep putting in the effort though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 17, 2016 / 4:23 am

        That would be interesting to watch. 🙂
        I’m off to bed now, JW, Good night and sweet dreams.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 17, 2016 / 4:24 am

        It would be. Good night and sweet dreams to you, Pretty Lady.

        Liked by 1 person

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