"What are you doing?" I asked a young client. He looked as if he was writing poetry; this wasn't what he was meant to be doing at the time.
"I'm writing poetry," he answered honestly. "I've finished all my work, so now I'm taking some downtime. I'm writing an acrostic."
I honestly couldn't fault him for that. I remember being his age, when I also used to write poetry in my downtime. Even a couple of years prior, when I was still in year 10, I used to write poetry in the school library at breaktimes. Terrible, heartwrenching, gut-punching, poetry of a lovelorn fashion. The silver girl I was obsessed with never actually got to read it. (Or so I think. It's still around and she may have surfed enough to find it. Who knows?)
In any case, it seemed a fair way to spend your spare time, creating a bit of lexical art. And, on top of it all, an acrostic. He even knew the word, unlike my friend-who-is-a-midwife, who still thought it was "cross sticks" at his age (but at least she knew it was something; I hadn't been taught it!). I've long been an admirer of the art form - more so when they've started appearing with the word IMPEACH down the margin. Rebecca even wrote one about me before we started dating.
I got up from my chair, stretched, and walked across to get a cup of water. On my way back, I chanced a look at my client's poem, on which he was still diligently working. Maybe just a quick glance... but I wanted to see what his acrostic was based on.
His message to the world?
It's good to have priorities.