a poem by Benista Owusu-Amo, ’21

Everyday I walk past the playground
Children laugh
Shove
Smile
I see a boy with curly hair
He smiles at me from behind the fence
His teeth are as white as the bright clouds in the sky
His eyes are dark, but inviting
He clenches a green lollipop in his right hand

We share a moment of silence
His friend’s loud voice calls to him
Breaking the peace with his loud hammer-like voice
The boy jerks out of his stupor
He looks at me one last time
The very last time
I knew all about him
I saw people throwing thick wads of paper at him
I saw his father screaming at the walls
I saw the way he always pretended
I saw people take the little money he had
I always saw
But I never did
I never invited him to eat with me
I never spoke up for him
I was never his friend
I was invited though
His mother hugged me when I arrived
“He always talked about you,” she whispered
I never talked to him
I brought some flowers
Arranged in color order
But that’s all I ever did

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