The school in my home town
was one big brick building
square and formidable
with twelve classrooms —
one for each grade —
and a basement
where we ate for a dime.
If we brought our own lunch
milk was three cents.
Also, in that same basement
we sometimes got injections
in our arms for something
but I can’t remember what.
I hated the needle!
One day my name was called
to go to the basement
to get a shot in the arm.
I left my home room
but instead
of going downstairs all the way
I went half way
where the big doors were.
I opened them and ran home —
a half mile or so.
My mother told me that
I’d have to go back to school
and get that shot.
I did!
I recalled that day
when a few years later
I joined the Navy
where I got many shots —
a few in each arm —
the very first day.
And though today I’ll not get any
I, for some unknown reason
am mulling over that day
when I ran home, afraid
and my mother made me be brave.

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