Emily sits out on the swing, watching the leaves spiral,

Reds, yellows, oranges like the world caught fire.

In the yard next door, Andre pulls his ball cap down over

His big, green eyes.

He juggles his soccer ball from knee to knee to foot to knee.

The smacking interjects into Emily’s singing,

In a good way.


The ball arches

Then pops Andre’s nose.

He lands on his butt and Emily launches herself off of the swing.

“Are you ok?”

Blood trails down Andre’s face.

He rubs it on her sleeve. “I’m fine.”

“Is your nose broken?”

“It’s fine.”

Andre’s pouty lips turn scarlet with blood.

Emily leans closer,

But rough hands shove her back.




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