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A long-boned middle-schooler,
all angles and knobs, ready to run
in her sprinter’s shorts and singlet,
a straight line instead of a smile,

she watched.

Silently gathering distance
from the man who gave hubcaps as gifts,
from the mother who fluttered
near the nest, but never on it,

she watched.

As brothers, like teen-aged cage fighters,
landed jabs with the flat sound of meat on meat,
head-locked each other blue and eye-bulging,
and bled on the long jagged rides to Emergency Care,

she watched.

As teachers, still jangled and fuming
at those brothers so long-since expelled,
preferred to pretend she just wasn’t there.
So she taught herself the science of hard things,

until having learned enough,
having seen enough,
using her own abandoned parts,
she assembled a tentative grin.

 


Over the years, Fain Rutherford has worked as a soldier, lawyer, university lecturer, rock-climbing guide, survival instructor and at-home-dad. He currently resides in the desert of central Washington State. His recent poems appear or are scheduled to appear in Right Hand Pointing, Poetry Quarterly, Front Porch Review, Eunoia Review, Connotation Press, and Apeiron Review.

© 2014, Fain Rutherford

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