Laying under the warm rays,
back pressed against the American mulch
A naive child squints into the golden light
A flag flies above his head
Wind distorts its image
Turning the symbol into it’s not—
something it never was.
The child is stepped on by another boy,
crushed by his brutal manipulation.
The boy kicks him in the side, leaving him
His red and blue blood seeps into the cracks of that American mulch.
Reaching for the floor, the boy props himself up,
staggering toward his offender.
Raised fists, he knocks the bully over.
“All men are created equal”, his father would say.
and so he raised his fists for liberty…
The tyrant of a bully retaliated,
leaving him alone yet again in the warm sun.
Bleeding red and crying blue.
But defense comes with consequence.
You can’t shoot and expect to not be shot back.
To be safe
To avoid anger and resentment.
There’s a line of chalk drawn on the
pavement of the playground;
a line separating defense and violence.
But once it rains,
The chalk fades
The line disappears
The boundary abolished…
“The boy needs his fists, hus defense”, they say.
The offender needs to have his own taken away—
needs to be contained
told right from wrong.
There is no safety on the playground if children are permitted to fight
even if the reason is this fallacy of “self-defense”
The rain will eventually come,
and when the chalk fades
what will be left?
Times have changed since his father was the one on the playground.
How should he know the new rules?
The playground evolves,
New kids, new rules, new boundaries…
It’s time for peace on the playground
Time to re-draw the chalk that has faded to a dull, diminished shade.
Time to play by new rules.