Another Tale for Today


Browsing through my notes, I came across this dialogue exercise I wrote for a class many years ago. It’s not nearly the level of Tony Fuhrman’s poem, but it seems singularly appropriate to the level of social and political scene today.


A Tale for Today

“My mom said if I got kept after again I couldn’t go out for a month!”

“Don’t tell her. Tell her you stopped at the creek on the way home.”

Naaa–she’ll find out.”

“Ya, Ol’ Prissy Smithy’ll be calling your ma just so your ma understands exactly what you did.”

“Your ma, too.”

“Who’s that kid over there?”

“Dunno. One of those jerks they’ve been busing in.”

“What’s he watchin’ us for?”

“Dunno. There goes Sammy talking to him.”

“How come Sammy doesn’t have to stay after? He was texting as much as we were.”

“Heyu Sammy! How come the teacher didn’t make you stay after?”

“He acts like he doesn’t’ hear you.”

“Like the guy is a friend of his.” Reuban said.

“Yeah, Sammy always was weird.”

“Did you see that shiny shirt he wears? All purple with funny designs. Like some alien from outer space.”

“Bet they’re talking about us, too.”

“Heard one of those kids grabbed Jimmy Green’s pack and ran off with it—laughing up a storm.”

“Didn’t get into a bit of trouble for it either, I bet.”

“Teacher’s pets, the whole bunch. ‘Now you have to be nice to the new children!’ Like we’re a bunch of kindergardners.”

“Yeah. Coach even made one of them pitcher. Pitcher! Can you believe that?”

“Ain’t fair.”

“Ain’t. And we’re the ones have to stay after.”

“There’s the bell.”

“Better get ourselves in or we’ll be in more shit.”

“Yeah. Let’s go. … Whatcha looking at, weirdo?”


“He was. Git him!”



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