Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Donal Mahoney- A Poem


High School in the Fifties

In my all-boys school
sixty years ago there were 
two boys who were different.
All four years they walked  
to classes togetherbooks 
clasped to their chests 
the way girls walked home 
carrying theirs.

I never saw another
classmate talk to them, 
perhaps because like me 
they didn’t know what to say
or they had nothing to say.
But I never heard anyone
talk about them either.
It was as if they weren’t there.

Now 60 years later 
the school sends out 
alumni updates and lists
the two of them as missing 
and asks if anyone might 
know where they are. 
I doubt that anyone does.
We didn’t know where 
they were back then.


Donal Mahoney 

—————————————————————————
Donal Mahoney attended a Roman Catholic boys-only 
high school in the early fifties. The Orlando massacre
reminded him of two apparently gay classmates from
six decades ago. There were probably other gays in 
the school as well who did not fit the same stereotype. 
These two classmates were never picked on to his 
knowledge and they were not shunned, either. He feels 
to this day straight kids at that time simply did not know 
how to communicate with them nor had any interest
in doing so just as there were some straight kids who
did not “fit in” as well. There was no bullying because 
neither the administration nor the students would have 
tolerated that kind of behavior. If you wanted to heckle 
someone, he had to appear to be your equal physically. 
It was not a good time for anyone who was different but 
maybe just little better than today.
 
 

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