After School Special


Dear Mr. Schneider,
I attended your elementary
School almost thirty years ago
And I'm very sure that
You will remember

My name is Suzy.
I'm that hyperactive girl
From the Egyptian family
Who used to always play dead
On the playground during

You used to keep me
After school a lot
And then my father would
Force me to make the long
Walk home in the cold or rain.
Sometimes I would arrive
After dark.

I'm writing to tell you
That I was bored as a kid.
I was bored by your class programs
And the way I was always taught a
Bunch of useless

I did not like being locked up
In a prison of scheduled time
Learning about bullshit histories
And watching belittling cartoons and
Shows approved by academia that
Made me even more

As a kid
Who was constantly
Growing, evolving, and
Being shaped by all around me
I wanted to travel, see other kids
In the world like me,
To understand what was going
On amongst us, around us,
To understand what we were here for
And what was our real purpose
For existence.

I have some questions
I would like to ask you Mr. Schneider
Now that I know that you are no
Longer a school principal,
But the new superintendant
Of the entire school

I want to know
Why racism today
Was not clearly explained to me
Even though we covered events
That happened long ago.
I want to know why you
Never shared with us
Why other countries
Never liked us,
Why we are taught to compete,
To be divided in teams,
And why conformity is associated
With popularity, while
Eccentricity is considered

I want to know
Why my cafeteria lunches
Were slammed packed
With bottom-tier
Processed junk food
Only suitable
For pigs?
And why is it
That whenever a bully
Slammed a kid into a locker,
You never explained
To us that ego battles
Were the roots
For wars and

I want to know
Why we were never taught
To stick up for each other,
To love one another, and that
Segregation sorted by the
Occupations of our fathers,
The neighborhoods we lived in, our houses,
Choices of sport, wealth, clothing,
Color of our skin
And the texture of our hair
Should never, ever
Divide us?

And lastly,
I want to know why
Is it that whenever I pledged
Allegiance to the flag,
I was never told that I was
Actually hailing to the

You used to say
I was a troubled child,
A misfit, and that I needed
Obedience training,
But you never acknowledged that
I was the fastest runner in the district
And that I took the school
To State and Nationals to compete
In the Spelling Bee amongst kids
Grades higher than me.
And that it was me,
Who won that big trophy
That sat in your office when you
Used to detain me for hours
And tell me I was no

Mr. Schneider,
If we are not taught truth as kids
Then how do you expect us to
Grow up to be truthful citizens?
If we are taught only the written way
And it has not shown positive effects
In societies of yesterday or today,
Then how can we progress as a
United and compassionate

And finally,
I want to thank you for
I know you have a tough job
Dealing with troubled children like me.
Your job has not been an easy one.
And I congratulate you
On your recent promotion.
Thank you,
Thank you,
And thank you
For mass processing
The junk kids of America.
And I want to personally thank you
For always pointing out
That I was

=Blue Panther=
by Suzy Kassem
Copyright 2009, Awakened Press. All rights reserved.



The first official collection of poetry by Suzy Kassem will be published in September of 2009 and will be released worldwide by Awakened Press in the beginning of 2010.