Odd Child Out

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads:   (posted by Marian)

Just One Word: Gormless
Me again, Toads!

Just one word to inspire your poems this weekend:



Dunce cap in corner
under blackboard
of chalked letters
and numbers which all
the children were taught.
Well, not all. Fraught with
apprehension, Jack knows
he is the gormless one,
the one at whom everyone
laughs, when he is forced
to put that silly cap on.
It is not Jack’s fault
that he is unable to read
in the way others do. He
doodles, looks out window,
daydreams, and schemes.
If only he could make them
understand what he sees.


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
This entry was posted in Purple's Home and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Odd Child Out

  1. Vivian Zems says:

    I like how you describe Jack’s dyslexic world. Thank goodness more and more children don’t have to go through the pain of being ‘different’- (compared to years ago).


  2. Kerry says:

    As a teacher I can relate to this scene – not every child is meant for a classroom.. their talents lie elsewhere and the imposition of education stifles them.


  3. mhmp77 says:


    Some unfortunate ones may have problems others don’t know about. It is most unfair!



  4. sanaarizvi says:

    Oh this poem tugs strongly upon my heart .. there are several children out there who are geniuses in their own right but stuck in the vicious cycle of excelling at studies.


  5. Helen says:

    Bless the beasts and the children, in them lie the future. Dreams are the good stuff of life no matter the disability. Nice write!


  6. Marian says:

    Ah, yes… I really feel this. I felt it when I saw the photo and you’ve put just the right words together with empathy to describe.


  7. I once felt gormless too… and even without a dunce cap I felt I deserved one… but things can change


  8. Susie Clevenger says:

    My youngest daughter is dyslexic… Your poem reminds me of her struggle. I took her out of public school her freshman year and home schooled her. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Theater Arts. She currently is the Artist Relations Director for Houston’s Bayou City Art Festivals. It is one of the largest art festivals in the country.


  9. oldegg says:

    Luckily I avoided such humiliation and hoped such ridicule had be banned from the classroom. I would have though there would be no place for teachers that humiliate a child as that is surely not in the syllabus!


  10. Jim says:

    This child is being cheated of a good education. Our systems need to reach this child as every child has potential.


  11. Ah, those beautiful dreamers that march to sound of a different drum. They are beautiful souls.


Comments are closed.