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I Knew This Kid… (poem)

I was browsing through Facebook today and saw a post from Shelly Kramer that made me think of  a poem I found in high school and kept in a notebook… then eventually transferred to a Word doc.. and I’ve had it on my computer(s) since college. It always along for the ride whenever I upgrade.


I’ve Googled the crap out of each line and group of lines and can’t find it ANYWHERE no the web. I wanted to put it here – in the hopes that it inspires some other kid to be who they want to be. And not what someone else wants them to be. Feel free to share this post with the share buttons. Or share this graphic of the poem I whipped up for easy Facebook sharing. It should be open to the world.

I Knew This Kid
I knew this skinny little kid
            Who never wanted to play tackle football at all
But thought he’d better if he wanted
            His Daddy to love him and prove his courage
And things like that.
            I remember him holding his breath
And closing his eyes
            And throwing a block into a guy twice his size,
Proving he was brave enough to be loved, and crying softly
            Because his tailbone hurt
And his shoes were so big they made him stumble.
I knew this skinny little kid
            With sky-blue eyes and soft brown hair
Who liked cattails and pussy willows,
            Sumac huts and sassafras,
Who liked chestnuts and pine cones and oily walnuts,
            Lurking foxes and rabbits munching lilies,
Secret caves and moss around the roots of oaks,
            Beavers and muskrats and gawking herons.
And I wonder what he would have been
            If someone had loved him for
Just following the fawns and building waterfalls
            And watching white rats have babies.
I wonder what he would have been
            If he hadn’t played tackle football at all.
 —Author Unknown