“are you chicken,”

he taunted.

squint-eyed and red cheeked, with all

those freckles splashed across his pug nose

i look from his leering grin to my

yellow flip-flop, bobbing in the pool

like a duck in azure water

just beyond my reach.

do I stretch out to retrieve it, risk

the shove i know is coming

or go home, shoeless

and face the wrath of mom?

everyone is watching as i stand paralyzed

by indecision and then, suddenly

he’s gone. submerged in a splash of water

his fat arms pumping, mouth yelling

my sister shoved him in

and the tidal wave of his humiliation

brought the yellow flip-flop to my

waiting hand.


Leave a Reply