Genre: Growing Pains
by Mary E. Latela @LatelaMary
I wore my new pink coat, silk, princess-style,
lined with satin and crinoline, to school.
Fifth grader, I pretended my brother,
who also walked, was a stranger,
And he pretended not to know me either.
From the left, a mighty little neighbor boy
rushed out like a little rebellious skunk
and he pulled on my coat,
tore the crinoline, pulled on the hem, delicately stitched.
Kids gathered, some laughing, and I assumed they were mocking me.
Finally, the mother came out and shouted,
“Harold! Come in now! Don’t you bother that girl!”
He slumped away. My brother said nothing.
Just as I could feel my breath again, relieved that the assault was over,
I walked into school and my teacher saw me,
asked me what happened …. the only word I could utter was “boy.”
Nosy Peggy filled in the details.
Teacher folded the coat carefully, slid it into a paper bag for safekeeping,
until my mother could use her magic touch to repair the coat,
Stitch by stitch.
I never felt safe again.
- * * * * *
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