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edward palmquist

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the victim

2008

Go away!
She screams as the crowd draws closer.
Her son is on the ground
bloody and weak.
What is wrong with you people?
Cradling his head, she weeps into the front of his shirt.
A few feet away the other boy struggles to his feet.
He has his share of bruises and cuts.
Why did you do this?
Wiping the blood off of his mouth with his sleeve
he avoids her questioning eyes.
Thinking of his own mother he wonders.
What would have happened if he had lost?
Even the coldest heart would weep at the pain of their child.
Almost wishing it had been different
he envies the victim.
When was the last time he had embraced his mother?
His youth had been difficult
and it seemed natural to blame her for it all.
She too must have been suffering.
I’m sorry…
He says though no one hears.
Turning, he slowly walks away
the crowd only interested in the other boy.
Mom?
Slowly sitting up he’s still shaking.
Her tears now of joy
she holds him tighter and kisses him.
I thought I had lost you.

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