At 10
by Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue



The world is wet.
In front of our round faces,
water droplets swirl,
while my little sister and I trudge on.

From her wood-paneled
Country Club station wagon,
a neighbor lady asks
“Y'all want a ride to school today?”

For her, I suppose, just trying to help out
what must've seemed
like the 2 almost waif-like children
of the crazy woman down the street
who very nearly burnt her house down.

For me: the mist dropping –
the opposite of bubbles rising
round and full drops,
bounce off lobed leaves, then tumble
toward us, a glint of light
passes through their thin membranes,
to plop on the root-kicked up,
uneven sidewalk between us.

Then a squint of my eye;
a quick shake of my head.
We trod on, my sister and I.

Call it pride; we did.
Though truth be told,
it was pretty damn close to shame.





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