Ten Boy Pile-Up



The familiar thwack of shoulder pads colliding

filled the air. My heart pounded from the

run over. My eyes searched for him on the field.

Then I saw the familiar skinny,

much too pale limbs,

flailing down the field. They were free

and unencumbered one moment. The next

they carried the precious ball they all fought over.

I waved my pom-poms in the air

hoping that would help him go faster. 

He bobbed.

They weaved.

Then a set of arms wrapped around his waist.

They dragged him to the ground. I sighed.

It was over.

Wait no it wasn’t.

One, two, three, nine boys joined the pile.

The small limbs that could barely cradle

the ball lay at the bottom of that pile.

One by one, the boys moved.

The final boy didn’t. He just lied there.

I leaned in close and saw the hallmark skin.

I waited.

Waited for him to move.

Waited for him to smile at me.

But he didn’t. 

He lied there as the boys gathered around him.

He lied there as my mom rushed onto the filed.

He lied there as the crowd chanted his name.

The men carried him off the field. 

I watched them load him into a police car.

I watched them drive away with him.

I watched until I couldn’t watch anymore.

My remaining brothers circled around me as

we waited for our mother to return.

Without LJ to guide us we were lost.

I cried. 

Even the mighty get hurt. 



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