sixth grade (june)
sixth grade

i used to let people slap me.
they would ask and i would say okay
it won’t hurt
i’d say
sure go ahead i’m tough
if i had said no they would have slapped me harder -
it would have hurt more
they would have held my head so i couldn’t run.
and pulled my hair so it all would have been more painful.

they did that once
i said no
no i don’t want to be slapped
why would you ask me such a stupid question
and she held my head
pulled my hair
grinned into my face and slapped me
it hurt less than it stung
stung my pride, my instinct, i wasn’t expecting it
if i had expected it, it would have hurt less.  much less.

so i used to say yes
go ahead and hit me - it won’t hurt
i’m tough.

what really did hurt though
was when my friends asked.
can i slap you?    you let her do it
can i?
and i blinked because i wasn’t expecting that
sure, i said, hit me
go ahead.

all writing ©2020 unpublished works by Rj/Ruth wplk