Getting Over Oneself (if only we ask)

A little man
In a class I covered today
Kind of broke my heart
He did not want to join the game
His anxiety too great
His attitude too strong

I called him over
Hoping our introduction would go well
But he started on me right away
Head down, hand over his face
Complaining that the other kids
We’re picking on him, how he hated sports, and
Demanding he not be involved

My horoscope had foretold of conflict
And being told by this young person
How it was going to be
Was in alignment with the stars

We started over
With ground rules this time
He would look at me when we talked
He would keep his hands by his side
And there was no yelling

Then we talked strategies
About appropriate assertiveness
So he could help others to understand
His needs for playing the game
And I sent him off to play

Which he did not

So I stopped the game
Put him on a team
And coached him through each play
His stress was apparent
But he needed to be on the floor
Working out his anxieties
And getting to know the other kids

He and I talked about books later
My book was Swag
His Divergent
Some of the kids had also read it
So they all had a short conversation
Maybe next time
He’ll be a little more comfortable
With them

And himself.

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