i cringe when i see the fb page

dedicated to his life

father, football coach, pillar of the

community the one i left long ago

in 8th grade he and his friend

grabbed me in the local swimming pool

the country club for crissakes my

pubescent bikini an open invitation in

broad daylight they moved like

sharks to easy prey but

they picked the wrong one

i was a fighter then

arms and legs kicking where it hurts

their laughter reinforcing the

game I was to them mere

boys, one who might borrow

a pencil from me in

class the next day

as the adrenaline coursed through

me rabid-like, i took his thumb in my

mouth nearly bit it to the bone he

then played the victim wading away in defeat

funny, i didn’t feel like i’d won anything

the incident passed as they did in

those days boys will be

boys and all that while

untold damage curled up inside me like

a dead fetus waiting to be expelled

i wonder whether his

wife, if she knew, would think twice

about that fb page

i heard 3 years ago he

died of cancer the killer that

doesn’t discriminate so

i guess now he is a

hero and not just a pillar

i guess damage curls up differently in each of us

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© 2020 by Linda Laino Words + Pictures.