"five plus seven"
"what do i do with the one?"
he sits, eight year old body wrapped in the steel of his chair, scratching at nubs, where legs once lived. he screams the answers at me, rustling fading leaves from where they fell among the discarded 40 oz. brown bottles and food wrappers. being outside calms him, not that he gets to do it often.
a little boy rounds the corner of one building, dogs nipping at his feet, boys yelling, "get that nigga!"
knocking him to the ground, they fist to face, fist to back, stomp, kick, until he cries. seven on one, they beat him down, letting him know his place. tears on his face, tears on the ground. "now ya unastan, how ta stay down."
finished they let the broken boy rise, he punches another, and off they run chasing that one, playing 'gang banger'.
it's all the rave here in section 8.
my boy, he laughs, waving his one good arm after them. homework, ain't happening today.
through the grass we roll, to a quiet corner by the chain link fence, set to keep monsters out. i brought a shovel today, not to tunnel out but to redeem. clearing a space, he pushes and shoves, i help him leverage, turning earth, cracking the surface.
smearing a bit off dirt on his cheek he laughs again, melody.
handing him a small tree, he runs his fingers through the ball of dirt loosening the roots, speckling his legs in soil, letting creation do its work. i slip it into the hollow we created, filling in. then sit and watch it take its first stretch.
"will it grow?" he asks.
"just like you buddy. just like you."
he knows its more hope than promise & we plant more than trees, in the last pink rays of an autumn sun.
written for Imperfect Prose
and One Shot Wednesday is still going on, so write a poem & link up.