Tall lean boy faces off against the smaller-
Grabbing his shoulders and pushing him down.
Small pink surrender, collapsing, kneeling-
Winner flashing big teeth and sucking in air.
The first boy runs off with his hot breath steaming.
The smaller boy sits on the ground in his dust
Then rises, brushes off, and turns away.
Marcus peels off his filthy white tank top.
His skinny black frame shakes, lips spitting
As he swears in wails of what he will do
When he catches the boy who just tagged him raw.
Kill you, your mother, and your sister, three times -
He stands still, gripping with one hand his sagging blue jeans
Other hand wiping down his ashy streaked face.
Andrew, always it, out, chosen last, every day-
Smacked from the start or whenever he plays-
His blue eyes turn in his rash-blotched head
As three girls jump close to taunt and then flee.
He shouts out then that he's got the plague
And says that it’s catching with one single touch.
Jumped in by jumping out he maps out a plan
To choose ‘out’ as an ‘in’ and to keep it that way.
Angela, fattest girl, sits red faced, puffing.
Playing no more with three girls who laugh
At her the from tire swing and pointing
And calling out slings about her big pink thighs.
She sits on the bench and watches them circle
Watching, watching, counting time, and waiting.
Would she ask for a day for her chance to ride?
You are a stick and I, the stone.
A child throws names that cut to the bone.
Mighty one slaps his little friends down
Points fingers right back with nothing to own.
Rise up this morning to sweet tin rhymes,
Of Jack and Jill tumbling in cuts of time.
One child cries and a second one bleeds.
Even small seeds can grow up to be trees.
February 15, 2010