A First Grade Fall
Face down on crumbling crushed rock
of the playground, the first-grade boy
cries and trembles.
Blood drips from his knee and chin,
his face a ghostly white.
He fears his unspeakable sin,
faces a scolding and slap
from a black-frocked nun,
like the older boys she whacked
while other kids snickered.
Secreting his shame, he
flees from goblins— escapes,
in tears, gasping air,
the two blocks home
to the womb of his
he had tripped on gravel,
ripped his pants,
scraped his knee and face.
(“I didn’t see the stones!”)
The gentle woman wipes away
the splattered blood, cleanses
the salt from his guilt and tears,
changes his clothes and caresses him.
Cradling his limp hand,
she leads him back to school.
His teacher nun, perplexed
by such odd behavior, says nothing,
only smiles and guides him to his desk:
this wandering waif,
this soul adrift
in a haze and meandering maze
of a wide mysterious world.- Total nr. of readings: 207 Copyright © The author  All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.
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