Being Alarmed At The Greatness Of Such A Task

Poem By Charles Chaim Wax

After Vinnie T
sliced off Ted Stern’s left pinkie
then broke his left arm
with a baseball bat
for nonpayment of gambling debts
Ted became subdued
then one morning
he began sucking the thumb
on his right hand.
I waited for someone
in the Teacher’s Center
to remark on this
Eventually Manton Minimott said, “Ted,
you’re sucking your thumb.”
“Yes.”
“Think you should be doing it
in public? What happens
if a student sees? Or Principal Haydock? ”
“My therapist
gimme permission
said it was normal in Regression Therapy.”
Minimott exclaimed, “Wonderful
takes a real man
to know he needs help.”
“I scared
“that why go, ” mumbled Ted Stern,
speaking like a three year old
then he closed his eyes and
curled up into the fetal position.
I said to Minimott, “ The first therapist he went to
said he couldn’t help him
problems too deep
that he handled only neurotics
said Stern was Borderline Psychotic
so sent him to a Regression Therapist.”
Minimott stared at me
his face awash in confusion
“Is that legal? ” he finally asked.
”What? ”
“Sending away a soul in need.”

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