The Best Poem Ever
flash fiction by Rhon Drinkwater
May 12, 2009
The little girl fingered her red curls and considered what Grandma said. The reason Troy Flanders tormented her so unmercifully was because he obviously had a crush on her. He was the cutest boy in all of fifth grade, though she often fantasized about how Troy Flanders should die. He was “pulling her pigtails”, Grandma told her. Boys don’t mature as fast as girls; thus, the source of their mystery. How it must plague his heart to love her in secret simply because she was not popular. The reason she was not popular was due to the jealousy of others, quite frankly. If the truth remained a secret between them, perhaps her turmoil would end.
“Hey, four eyes.”
She nodded. Recognized at last for the greatness that would one day rescue her from this crappy town.
“Well, Miss Brooks says I gotta read a poem for the contest tomorrow.” He smirked and shifted feet. “So I want you to write me a poem.”
“A poem? About what?”
He leaned toward her face until she could smell his salty boy smell. “I don’t freakin’ know! But it best be good. I’m gonna look for you at lunch tomorrow.” With that, he pushed away on his skateboard, wheels clunking on cracks in the sidewalk. She hugged her spiral notebook to her chest and watched him ride away. Yes, she would keep his secrets. And she would write the best poem for Troy Flanders. The best poem ever.
A prince with eyes like sky
hair like water
smile made of fire
She tore the paper from the spiral and crumpled it. This had to be her best work. She had to find a way to let
Hair of flames
Eyes of truth
Secret angel of the keys
The next day, she woreher pink parrot socks and the special skirt her grandma made. Inside the elastic waistband was a custom tag that read “Tailored for you by Beatrice Whitley”. She sat alone at lunch, just as she did every day, but this day her heart thumped wildly. She had a clear view of Troy Flanders several tables away with his rowdy friends. She watched him carry his lunch tray to the trash. His friends followed.
“Hey, freakface, you got my poem?”
That ugly Johnny boy snatched her spiral and began leafing through the pages. She lunged and grabbed her spiral from his grip. She tried not to be prissy. She tried to not show her fury. That’s why they pick on you.
“Awww, what’s the matter, lard ass? Is that your diary?” Johnny asked. All the boys laughed.
“I’m almost done.” She said, and began to scribble quickly on a clean page, fingers trembling, face red hot. As she started to rip the page from her spiral,
She sat in the dark assembly hall, accustomed to willing her composure, but her brow furrowed in such a way that would become an axe wound on her forehead when she was older. The English teacher Miss Brooks announced poet after poet, but she hardly heard any of their words. Finally, Miss Brooks called him to the stage. Troy
Chiggers and ants!
Chiggers and ants!
Make a terrible itch!
Deep in my pants!
The audience erupted into thunderous applause and even Miss Brooks, her biggest supporter, clapped her hands in delight. The boys behind her stood up and drummed their fists on the back of her seat. One fat boy yelled, “Best poem ever!” Troy Flanders kept her poem held at eye level as he bent his body into deep bows, soaking in all the praise and laughter.
I am the one who wrote the poem! Its my poem! She wanted to scream. Pearls to swine. One day these morons would know her name.