Thursday, July 28, 2011

One Last Dance

When Johnny was little, he played with his friends
As the summertime slowly would pass
They’d swim in the rivers; they’d hide in the woods
And they’d frolic and dance in the grass, oh
They’d frolic and dance in the grass

But friendship is fickle in kids of this age
So he had the occasional fight
And names would be called, and fists would be thrown,
In a world that was pure black-and-white;
Johnny was smaller than some of the boys
And the target, sometimes, of abuse
He sometimes fought back, but too quickly he learned
That his struggles were never of use

When Johnny was little, he’d played with his friends
As the summertime slowly would pass
They’d swim in the rivers; they’d hide in the woods
And they’d frolic and dance in the grass, oh
They’d frolic and dance in the grass


Johnny was lonely, and Johnny was scared;
He knew he would never be cool
He knew all the names of the popular boys
Cos they’d all kicked his ass after school
They called him a faggot; they called him a queer
And nobody cared if it’s true
Cos the summers are long and the summers are hot
And the bad boys need something to do

When Johnny was little, he’d played with his friends
As the summertime slowly would pass
They’d swim in the rivers; they’d hide in the woods
And they’d frolic and dance in the grass, oh
They’d frolic and dance in the grass


Johnny told teachers, and parents and more
That the bullies were out of control
But the teachers were fond of the popular boys
So they told him they’d pray for his soul
He heard what they said, and he heard what they didn’t,
And knew they were not on his side
He wondered if, really, they worried at all,
And would they be sad if he died?

When Johnny was little, he’d played with his friends
As the summertime slowly would pass
They’d swim in the rivers; they’d hide in the woods
And they’d frolic and dance in the grass, oh
They’d frolic and dance in the grass

Johnny was tired of running and hiding
And wanted his troubles to end
Johnny might never have done what he did
If he only had talked with a friend
Instead, though, he talked with the school’s Parents’ League
(There were lies that they had to dispel)
They wanted the children to all know the truth—
That Johnny was going to Hell

They said he was sinful; they said he was wrong
They told him the things he must learn
They told him that God sends all sinners to Hell
They told him that that’s where he’d burn
When Johnny heard the things they said
He knew he had no chance
So Johnny got a length of rope
For one last, special dance

They told him they’d pray for the sake of his soul
They told him that, always, there’s hope;
But never again will he dance in the grass
Since he danced at the end of a rope, oh
Since he danced at the end of a rope.



Via PZ and others, a terribly sad story of Christian compassion, of anti-gay bullying, and the "Day of Truth" (at that link, you can see evolution at work--click on "dayoftruth.org", and you will be brought to the "day of dialogue" website). The "Parents Action League" (weren't they in The Incredibles?) had worked with local churches to provide t-shirts for the day.

Because of Despite the League's work, because of despite warning gays that they were bound for hell for their sinful lifestyle, it seems there has been an epidemic of teen suicide. Nine kids in two years, at present.

Oh, yes. This is in Michele Bachmann's district. You remember her--her husband lies about doing ex-gay therapy. Cos it's better to make people think they are ill, broken, or sinful, than to have them love the wrong person.

Oh--this poem is not about any one kid in particular. There were names that could easily have fit, but no way in hell am I going to do that to parents, siblings, friends, etc.

2 comments:

Die Anyway said...

I am reminded of the movie "Mask". Young people are resilient but at some point a line may be crossed and the perceived future is too bleak.
In the long ago past I was in my mid-20s, had just gotten out of the Air Force and was doing a lot of fishing. I had a fishing buddy I met at the pier who was still in high school. He came from a broken family (single-parent mom), was poor, a little over-weight, and not appreciated by the men his mom brought home nor by his peers at school. An outcast, but he seemed to do pretty well with the gang of fishermen at the pier. I knew he was unhappy with his lot in life but I obviously didn't realize how much. One day he went to the park, climbed on a picnic table and took that last dance.

As for the Bachmanns and the Parents League, I'll reiterate a phrase I've use here before: [Some] People are no damn good.

Mattir said...

Your poem makes me cry, as even PZ's post and the MJ article did not.