Next in Line

Little fella on the stage

Didn’t memorize, read the page

Frightened, nervous of the crowd

Teacher says to speak real loud

There’s a giggle from behind

Someone’s laughing, so unkind

Lost in space, in this place

Grandma praying to save face

Something Christmas, maybe love

Or a description of a dove?

He looks for words, mouth all dry

Honest to God, he wants to cry

Time is frozen, they all await

What will be his tongue-tied fate?

“Great job, kid!” or “At least you tried”

Either way, someone has lied

He glances at his teacher for assistance

She mouths some words, at a distance

He prays to God to kill him dead

Shoot an arrow right through his head

Then all at once he’s nearly done

He recalls the rest–so much fun

Finishing up his little speech

A little bow, quite the reach

Mama and Papa begin the applause

Pretty damn great, with all its flaws

It’s Christmas pageant time of year

Where young’uns are forced to live in fear

Mom and Dad want to Facebook and tell

But when you’re eight, it’s more like hell

Published by Jonathan Cring