Kim had funny hair when we were in second grade.
She made bad grades and sometimes got paddled
for being late to school too many times.
She wasn't good at jumprope
she was the last picked for any team.
She wasn't someone got paid attention to,
by those of us that got paid attention to.
Kim was white.
Latoya was dark skinned, flamboyant and poor.
During recess, some of us were hanging by our knees from the chinning bar.
Latoya decided to join in.
She never had before, but she
had some athletic ability
felt an urge to show off.
Yep, she hung there exposing her poverty through
the holes in her underwear
because she trusted our urging her to participate
to be sincere recognitions of her
We made fun of her
in cruel ways
we were seven or eight years old.
Kim, dear Kim, gently approached Latoya and said,
“Come with me, they are being mean to you.”
I learned kindness from Kim.