Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Eight of Swords

As the tetherball chains chimed, we hung out
under the monkey bars. I was the disputed
tetherball champion of my class, but he refused
at the beginning of recess to play against me. 

When I asked him why, he told me about his cousin:
As he was riding his bike through the park, near
the rioting, a policeman pulled him down and beat him.
“He’s only twelve years old. He wasn’t hurting anyone:

Why would they do that?” “I don’t know,” I mourned--
“C’mon, let’s play tetherball!” He turned away, “I can’t. 
My family says I can’t be with white people anymore
because you just can’t trust them.” “But I

didn’t do anything!” I shouted over the ringing chains.
Squinting and sweating, he just shook his head
at everything I said as fists were thudding and balls
kept whirling. I didn’t play tetherball ever again.

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