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The air was cold.

Beneath a cloud-choked sky,
we ran with winter coats
and Rorschach-splotched cheeks,
the metal rungs of monkey bars
and parallel beams
callousing the destinies
lined out on our palms.

I listened
from a corner
where wind-trampled grass
and tumbling stones met
as two fifth grade Gods,
stoic in long sleeves and bare ears,
told a younger boy to lay down
and trust them.

Eight years old and far too wise,
I lost track of my breaths
in the same moment
his throat clamped tight
over the handful of playground pebbles
poured between his teeth
when his eyes were closed.
:iconglory-be-project:

FINALLY, a poem again!

Also, this is for Lissomer's Micro Colour Contest, and is based entirely on something I witnessed in elementary school.

I chose the color Pebble Gray.  I don't care if that's not actually a color. :|

August 10th, 2014
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:iconvespera:
vespera Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I really like this one :D
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :heart:
Reply
:iconautumnstea:
AutumnsTea Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
A shame that most kids get bullied in the young years. It really isn't a thing that should happen. This poem made me fear for the little boy, it's very well written.
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for reading, and the feedback--I appreciate it! :heart:
Reply
:iconautumnstea:
AutumnsTea Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
No problem :)
Reply
:iconrlkirkland:
rlkirkland Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Oh such memories we all carry; well written.
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, Ron. :heart:
Reply
:iconpennydiamond:
PennyDiamond Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Student General Artist
This is heartbreaking, and beautiful and....just....yeah.
Huggle! 
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for reading and commenting--I appreciate the feedback! :heart:
Reply
:iconpennydiamond:
PennyDiamond Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Student General Artist
No problem :)
Reply
:iconhopeburnsblue:
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Professional Writer
Sad, sad, sad ... but very well captured.
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, Mel, for reading and commenting! :heart:
Reply
:iconrestricteda:
RestrictedA Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014
Bullies are terrible. And good work!
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Aren't they? Thank you for reading!
Reply
:iconrestricteda:
RestrictedA Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014
Yeah... but sometimes it's the people they grow up with.
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:nod: Yes.
Reply
:iconrestricteda:
RestrictedA Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014
Ok
Reply
:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I think I just teleported back to my own elementary school years. Brrr. 

Amazing work. 
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:huggle: Thank you for reading, hon.
Reply
:icondenisecroy:
DeniseCroy Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome ! It's always a pleasure reading you. 
Reply
:iconhaphazardmelody:
haphazardmelody Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Rorschach-splotched cheeks = :heart:

And this is perfect. So well done. You've not only described this so well and left us with the same sense of detached disbelief as you, the narrator, but you've also chosen the perfect color to describe that emotion in the title.
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much!  I remember being really confused about this later--were they angry with the younger boy? Did they even realize what would happen, or did they think the rocks would magically disappear and he'd sit up to do the Macarena? Like...:confused:
Reply
:iconnunnally-vi-america:
Nunnally-Vi-America Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
The poem's beginning is innocent and the end is horrifying. It's well written and so horrible to imagine! Children can be so cruel sometimes.
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for reading, and for the comment! Yes, children are just...I don't understand them sometimes.
Reply
:iconmeggie272:
Meggie272 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You have created perfectly the kind of disbelieving, detached feeling a kid has when witnessing something like this. I never saw anything this horrible when I was small but I remember standing in cold windy playgrounds watching kids be cruel to each other and you have written this so well that it brings the whole thing back in vivid technicolour. Really, really well done. But an awful thing to happen :( 
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for reading, honey. I'm still not certain, to this day, what possessed the fifth graders--if I could go back, I'd certainly ask, as I'm SURE they knew better. :heart:
Reply
:iconmeggie272:
Meggie272 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Kids have the capacity for bewildering cruelty sometimes. I'd like to ask what was going through their heads at the time. 
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:nod:
Reply
:iconshep4life:
shep4life Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Wow...crazy experience!

 Rorschach-splotched cheeks,

I love this
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!

I love that image, myself--it so well explains the way cheeks look after running when it's cold outside!
Reply
:iconshep4life:
shep4life Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Anytime!
Reply
:iconspriteblayde:
SpriteBlayde Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow... this brings back grade school memories. I remember there was a boy who had a reputation for eating whole handfuls of the gravel. Yuck! This piece is so well done, since it invokes a sense of nostalgia and also a sense of familiarity. Well done!
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You have much fonder memories of grade school than I do--this was TERRIFYING. Like... They literally told him to lay down, open his mouth, and close his eyes...and he did...and then they poured rocks into his throat. He choked. They called 911. I don't know if he was okay.  But really--fifth graders SHOULD know better than that, right? :grump:

Thank you, though!  I really appreciate the feedback! :heart:
Reply
:iconspriteblayde:
SpriteBlayde Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow... that's horrific. I would have been so mad at those boys! And they should know better, but they obviously did not care.

But believe me, my memories of grade school are not that fond... hence why I was homeschooled for most of my school time.

And you're so very welcome!
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:huggle: I didn't mean to assume, I apologize for that. And yes, it was horrible.
Reply
:iconspriteblayde:
SpriteBlayde Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug: No, no, you're fine! I just meant to say that my grade school experience wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. LOL
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconninjaglompplz:
Reply
:iconbraxton-t-rutledge:
Braxton-T-Rutledge Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014
Sigh, I haven't come up with anything nearly as good for her contest. ah well.
Reply
:iconlissomer:
Lissomer Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Student Writer
You're entering, right? Please say you're gonna enter. There's still like 8 days!
Reply
:iconbraxton-t-rutledge:
Braxton-T-Rutledge Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014
If i come upbwith anything i will
Reply
:iconlissomer:
Lissomer Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Student Writer
:eager:
Reply
:iconbetwixtthepages:
betwixtthepages Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm sure you'll figure it out before the deadline! You always come up with great stuff!
Reply
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