All those awkward years

you didn’t realize you were training:


Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack

clapped fast, fast, faster

to the recess bell


Automatic hip-flick, palm-sting

like flat leather slap on hand pad

until your fists blur,

whip-sharp, hard


Not the school wall

but your partner’s gut

that catches a medicine ball

She heaves it back at you,

shoves air out of lungs


Pink plastic double-dutch,

little girl nonsense songs

drowned now by heavy metal

as you slice air

into rope bites

thin as ticks of stopwatch

Published online January 01 2010.

At the Root of Voice cover image

This piece was published in ‘At the Root of Voice,’ the Winter 2010 issue of CV2.

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