Article By: The Press
On Turning Into a Sixth Grader
The whole idea of it makes me feel
as if I’m becoming a Celtic warrior,
valiant in the heart and enlightened in the mind
as a new surge of cognizance sweeps over me—
my slender bones serving as battle armor,
my tenacious attitude working as a compass for the extensive journey ahead,
my glaring smile acting as a means of persuasion for you to overlook my mischievous deeds.
You swear it is too early to be reflecting on the past,
but that is because you have forgotten
The charming innocence of being in fourth grade
and the vast marvels of the world exposed in fifth.
But I can sway on my cobalt rocking chair and recollect every age. At three I was a swashbuckling pirate.
I could make the cosmos spin
with the thrust of a saber or the stomp of a peg leg.
At eight I was a meticulous surgeon, at ten a schmoozing lawmaker.
But now I am at the escritoire of my study
surveying the basketball game just outside.
I’m a mature man now! I ruminate to myself.
Back then life never felt so disciplined.
It never felt as though the velvet eye patches and ornate stethoscopes would ever be dumped into plastic bins in the basement,
as they are today,
all the zealous entertainment value extracted from them.
This is the dawn of a new voyage, I assure myself,
not one of grief, but of distinguished accolades and a fruitful destiny.
It is time to march out of the age of watching Caillou and getting haircuts from Grandma,
and stride into the epoch of earning high marks, of questioning authority,
and of erecting a perennial name for myself in the world.
It seems merely yesterday I used to believe
there was little importance except behaving for Santa Claus and eating raspberry kiffles.
If you double dog dared me to do something I couldn’t achieve, I’d whimper.
But now when I am presented with a challenge,
I stride up the verdant hill, like a true Celtic warrior would.
The deep resonance of bagpipes and bodhr áns follows not far behind.
Age 15, Grade 9
Southern Lehigh High School
Southern Lehigh School District