Jeff was the fattest

Kid at St. Mary’s

Elementary, and we

Teased him mercilessly.

We didn’t mean to be

Mean. We didn’t plan

Our taunts and jibes.

Our cruelty came as

Naturally as the rain

And lightning. It went

On for years, while Jeff

Started jogging, first

Just down his street

At night, then all the

Way to the mall and

Back. By seventh grade

He ran track, lifted

Weights, played quarter-

back, and was making it

With one sweet cheerleader,

While we, his former

Tormentors spent

Most nights with Ms.

January. Fat Jeff had

chisled himself

Into a lean, mean, sex

Machine. Of course, we

Had something to do with

His transformation. He told

Me as much years after. I’m

Not proud of my former

Cruelty, I told him, one

Day at my house as I

Showed him the riff

To “Day Tripper” on

my Korean guitar.

“Don’t worry ’bout it,”

He said, flashing a

James Dean grin. And

To tell the truth, I don’t.

Our jibes and fat jokes

Made Jeff a better man.

But I’m not too proud of

That either. Had he been

Made of softer stuff, he

Might have killed himself,

And I would have had a

Tough time with that. So

While the past was

Too cruel, the present

May be too kind. How

Many Fat Jeffs today

Lose out on Cheerleader

Booty because

Fat-shaming is uncool

These days? Today’s

Kids fail to comprehend

The meaning behind

Nature’s harsh ways.

Mother Nature is

Cruel, but beautiful

Too.

— F.B.

 

 

 

 

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