On Flunking a Nice Boy Out of School
I wish I could teach you how ugly
decency and humility can be when they are not
the election of a contained mind but only
the defenses of an incompetent. Were you taught
meekness as a weapon? Or did you discover,
by chance maybe, that it worked on mother
and was generally a good thing—
at least when all else failed—to get you over
the worst of what was coming? Is that why you bring
these sheep-faces to Tuesday?
They won’t do.
It’s three months’ work I want, and I’d sooner have it
from the brassiest lumpkin in pimpledom, but have it
than all these martyred repentances from you.