The “bad crowd”

When I was young they told me

and the others

not to fall in with the “bad crowd.”

The “bad crowd” were

the ones who did drugs

and made up stories on street corners

at night.

The ones who did not

finish their homework,

and then challenged

the teachers who punished them.

The ones who would grow up to

question their place,

and question their role

in the system.

I was young

and listened with wide-eyed

pig-tailed, white socked


at the thought of these misfits

who dared challenge the nice teachers

who gave me biscuits and uniforms and homework.

I was young

and lapped up the spittle they

fired into my head;

absorbed like a new sponge

so all my little crevices

were filled with good and the good.

I vowed

never to get in with “the bad crowd,”

never to do drugs

never to make up stories

never to hand in homework late

and never to frequent street corners at night.


I vowed never to challenge-

for surely the system must be benefiting me?


why would the nice teachers

tell me to slot in without a


Why would they do that?

I pondered extensively and in all my

blonde haired, rosy cheeked


was finally satisfied that I was in good hands;

there was no call to challenge.

Years later-

and I laugh at my own



(Written in 2001)






3 thoughts on “The “bad crowd”

  1. I really liked this, but I must admit that as a teacher, I actually enjoyed the rascals who spoke out in class.

    I’ll add that they were the only ones to say hello to me outside school.

    I’ve no idea what they’re doing now, I do hope their naughtiness has kept them alive in this grey world that we’ve made for ourselves.

    PS Was 2001 before or after the hospital?


  2. School – ugh! I prefer to think of it as a ‘consciousness-rendering plant.’ It really ate into my reading and drawing time. 😉


  3. Further, my inability to be ‘slotted in’, while, in reality, an expression of something positive in me, still caused me to carry a feeling of failure for years. In fact, to this day I struggle with feeling whole and worthy due to not getting the people-processing stamp of approval. It’s an insidious business!


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