By HANA NJAU-OKOLO
Joel’s teeth chattered noisily
shamelessly betraying him again.
Ten days into Indian summer and
His built-in weather vane
was signaling the onset of winter.
“You ain’t no man!”
Pealed into his eardrums.
It’s fresh cadence seeping through,
The knotted heap of perpetual questions
Lining the cockles of his heart.
Undeserved taunts spilled from
The lips of boys and girls
With sweet pubescence
Around the school yard.
Why at no cost,
Will Joel exhibit that false bravado,
The Big Apple swagger of his hometown?
Now, choppy phrases enunciated in pain,
Trip off his tongue as he tries to explain,
To Ms. Bona Fide, once again.
“Wait a minute, wait a minute now. Let me talk!”
Was all he asked, he explained.
His lanky back retreats into the tightly woven fabric
Of the special brown chair, as he waits for Ms. Bona Fide
To meet him half-way.
The iridescent make-up on her eyes shimmers across the table,
An oasis extending beyond the hospitable smile on her face,
Warming the strident ache out of the metal plate in his ankle.
“Young man, it’s gonna be alright.”
Like a glove, her voice wraps around
His 13 years and counting,
Echoing voices gone before,
The curative force of compassion,
In its measured prescription.
Copyright © Hana Njau-Okolo 2008. All Rights Reserved.