With the  hard metal harness locked around my neck
I knew I wasn't getting out of this one.

The roaring coaster that "isn't scary– really"
Began to click, like an ominous doomsday clock
And the hill stretched out before me
Contracted with the clicks of caloric intakes
Of straight-A-bombshell fearless-fakes
As that hill ticked away

And all those feelings–
You know the ones that "McDonogh Students" don't feel
The fear – as the bare feet slip past the nets –
Or not – the anger, loneliness, misery—
McDonogh Students don't consider suicide.

All those feelings pulling us up this clicking hill
Tears streaming, fists clenching,
Sitting straight against seat backs–
Is this what prep school means?
Would prep not stand for preparatory
But precipice?

Corralled by SAT brackets,
Shackled with summer math packets
And silenced by the things that don't happen at home
Are we waiting for the drop?

Maybe this time the chasm wasn't cataclysmic–
Here, lines end like silent 1, 2, 3 rhythmic–
And head against seat back if you pick up your legs
And shut your eyes: you'll survive
And maybe never feel as alive

But on the coaster that is our lives
We'll miss the world if we shut our eyes
Sitting terrified fists clenched
Before reaching the final "That's it?"

And I've yet to decide but maybe I don't mind
Spending a minute and thirty seconds blind
But those feelings that McDonogh students don't get
Can help us grow – not shut up  –
But speak up and drive. 

The End

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