​We were all getting our butts whipped
it didn’t even faze us anymore.
The one-upmanship parade of welts.
We were what Child protective Services
was created for.
“Man, you ain’t had yo’ butt whupped
until you been beat with a ‘stension cord.”
“Nah, man, Hot Tracks!”
A strip of plastic with duel cruel ridges
for racing toy cars that 
I was suddenly happy Mom couldn’t afford.
We were left to our own devices
engaged in some dangerous play.
Climbing steel girders at construction sites
four stories up with more than hell to pay.
Skating on thin ice in just our shoes.
Skitching: holding on to car bumpers
sliding along without the driver’s knowledge,
a game you could permanently lose.
It was as if our lives didn’t matter.
What makes you think that yours will?
Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest.
In the dying time, the voices shrill.

M. Zane McClellan

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