The Weird Kid
I was the weird kid in grammar school.
I was shy, I made noises when I walked,
strange gulping sounds in my throat
and I stuttered when we read out loud.
But I was not without talent. I could roll
my stomach like a belly dancer
(a big hit in the coatroom closet)
I used to do it singing My Baby Does
The Hanky Panky, and I could make myself
turn red by holding my breath.
On good days I got closer to a deep purple.
Sharon Malfitano, the class president,
sat behind me. She had an election poster
of Dracula saying, “all I vant is your vote.”
Sometimes during a test or when we were drawing,
I would turn around and stop breathing
and tighten the muscles in my neck
and quickly my white Irish skin would turn
the shade of a radish and she’d smile
and eventually if I held it long enough
she’s start laughing at me.
I guess you could say I had a way with the ladies.