The Orange Room Review

Accessible poetry of substance

The Deaf Boy in High School

by Bob Bradshaw

When I signed to my classmates
my hands were wounded birds
who'd lost their sense
of direction.
And when I looked at them puzzled 
their answer was easy.
Why didn't I lip read?
How could I explain
that lip reading was like
trying to sing along
when a needle is skipping
across a record? 
People looked smug.
I was just dumb, they said.
They were always mouthing
questions like, 
"Is that a badger in your pants?"
I detested pranksters
as much as I did French class.
I shied away from them
as much as I did girls.
I never did well in classes.
Except for weekly reports.
When the teacher asked us
to write an essay
on loneliness I nodded.
That was one report
I could always

BOB BRADSHAW lives in California, and dreams of retiring to a hammock and listening all day to real 'swing' music. Mick and all the boys will surely be there to step up to the mic whenever Bob turns on the iPod. Recent work of Bob's can be found at Foliate Oak, Loch Raven Review, Oak Bend Review and Word Catalyst.