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A Brown Skinned Child

A Brown Skinned Child

A brown skinned child,

buzz-cut, blocky, maybe six,

on his back, laughing. His teacher,

like him, brown and round,

croons lovingly, draws a line

around his body in chalk.

He leaps up gleeful

pointing to where he has been

where his silhouette remains.

One by one his friends

lie down laughing

bodies traced on the sidewalk

by the school. I have seen

before this emptiness where older boys

have lain and do not rise again.

This good teacher

these eager kids

rehearsing the ghastly curriculum.