Once There Was A Boy

Once there was a boy
Who grew up in Florida.

All his life he was told
He was very special.

He could read when he
Was three years old.
He read all the year’s reading assignments
In second grade in two days.
By the end of second grade
He tested as reading 12th grade level.

He loved words, and he loved to draw.
His family were all musicians, and
He sang with them in public starting
At age four.

But the other kids thought
He was kind of strange.

His mom and dad weren’t the kind of people
Who ever touched their kids.

The first report card he brought home in first grade
He got all “1’s” (the highest grade) in classes,
But a “2” in conduct.
He was a “behavior problem” at school.

His parents said, as smart as he was, he should get good grades;
That conduct was more important.

So, he decided his grades didn’t matter.
He continued to get in trouble at school.
By third grade he was taken out of class partial days
By a vice principal who taught him things that
Other kids hadn’t got to learn yet.

But his conduct grades stayed bad.
As a matter of fact, he was in trouble every year
He was in school, Kindergarten through 12th grade.

His grades were very mediocre;
He had friends, but always was in trouble.

He started playing the piano in between
Fifth and Sixth grade; for six years he practiced
Long hours every day.
He played professionally starting age fourteen.
It was never enough.
He was told he had wasted his potential.

Even though he qualified for a merit scholarship because of test scores
He was told he had wasted his potential and should have done better
In school.

He should have got good grades, but they didn’t matter if he did, because
grades were easy for him, why didn’t he behave better, why was he such a waste
of potential

waste of potential

waste of




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15 Thoughts to “Once There Was A Boy

      1. It’s quite alright at this point. My experiences have allowed me to form a unique perspective on life that not many people get to share.

  1. You were so gifted as a child; yet you listened to what you were told to do. I remember the word bilingual held such negative connotation for me. It took me a while to separate from that. No one should ever think they are a “waste of potential.”

    1. I’ve gone on since then to be
      educated and accomplished;
      I will go to my grave
      I should have been more,
      should have done more,
      that I wasted my talent,
      and that whatever I did
      didn’t count because
      it came “easy” to me
      Because whatever is “easy”
      doesn’t count

      1. Neither am I. I only know I’m determined and motivated and that is all. I know I’m unable to predict the future.

  2. Talk about negative reinforcement. You were rewarded with attention when you “got in trouble.” You were dismissed out of hand when you did well in school. You generated lots of “juice” from people being upset with you. God, we’re all just so human!

  3. The ones who didn’t live up to their potential in this case were the parents. That’s a tough wave to surf, but sounds like you did it. Kudos!

  4. I think those folks were misguided and you resisted because you are not a follower. Another talent! I enjoy your writing very much & appreciate the follow 🙂

  5. “I like you just the way you are” ” Take Joy in the day that God has made”” The past is only information” So easy to say, so hard to internalize but all true. I love the fact that you can write about this stuff and publish it. That shows real courage and an ability to care about others too, for we learn from each other’s stories..
    So take 3 deep breaths; take up your tablet and “waste not-want not”. Your “easy” talent is getting better and better with each bit of writing you do. This reader loves your work.

  6. People are so cruel 🙁 and so much of it is unintended and they don’t even realise what they’re doing 🙁

    Glad you survived

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