For Some Slight I Can't Quite Recall
Was with the pudgy hands of a thirteen-year-old that I took the marble of his head just barely balanced on his reedy neck and with the brute tutelage of years fighting the neighbor kids and too the lightning of my father's stiff palm I leaned the boy's head full force into the rattly pane of glass on the school bus and did so with the eagle of justice screaming in my ear as he always does for the irate and stupid I made the window sing and bend and the skinny boy too whose eyes grew to lakes lit by mortar fire bleating with his glasses crooked I'm not an animal walking in place on the green vinyl seat looking far away and me watching him and probably almost smiling at the song and dance I made of the weak and skinny boy who towering above me became even smaller and bizarre and birdlike pinned and beating his wings frantically against his cage and me probably almost smiling as is the way of the stupid and cruel watching the weak and small and innocent not getting away.
From Bringing the Shovel Down, published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Copyright © 2011 by Ross Gay. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
Ross Gay is the author of Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kingsley Tufts Award.
Date Published: 2011-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/some-slight-i-cant-quite-recall