Quick Acts: Not Thinking


I put something in Mommy's dessert. Why?
Sat on a closet shelf and broke it. Why?
Say a bad word. Why?
After a playdate, grabbed my friend's doll and left my doll. Why?
Jump on trampoline when Daddy says not to. Why?
Climb on cliff when not supposed to. Why?
In church think of a song.
Stand and sing it during the prayer. Why?
Cut shoe laces because it pops in your head.
You are very unpleasant.
Dad drives you to the post office, goes inside.
You climb up in his seat and pull the black lever. Why?
In a ballet performance,
Think of a big song.
Without thinking you yell it out at the top of your lungs.
You are embarrassed. Why?

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This Poems Story

I wrote this poem in its earliest form in the summer of 2006, which was spent in Oxford, England, with my family. I was seven years old at the time and taken to acts of impulsivity dubbed "quick acts" by my mother. After an episode in which I sat on a shelf and broke it, my punishment was to write down why. I interpreted this in a unique way, creating a list of both past mistakes and hypothetical situations that qualified as quick acts. Printed here is the gramatically-correct version that I revised in 2016.