The N Word

By | 13 May 2024

for Jesse

These things usually
start small
on the soccer field/in the playground –
you be the goalkeeper, no you!
The N word
fell heavy from a rooftop
like a gargoyle.

You kept it together son
but it hurt deep in your gullet
you were grotesque:
your father white, mother not.
You felt your race
like a granite weight.

The next time
the N is fast bowled at you
keep your shoulders straight,
your grip soft
bat that monster with power
into the brilliant blue sky
where it belongs.

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