Someone’s Son

We couldn’t bear to look at him
So we turned our well-dressed backs
I coughed into my hand
an attempt to shield my nervousness
A girl in a backless blouse giggled
She was nervous too
He just seemed so pitiful–not sad
His eyeballs must have weighed four pounds each
The heavy dark lids stretching to contain them
His mouth a twisted gash
With teeth the color of autumn corn
The few long hairs that poked bravely
From his chin curled back under
Tickling his jawline whenever he smiled
Tangled greasy strands of hair
Brushed the shoulders of his striped shirt

“I’m someone’s son,” he said
As if that was going to make us
Look at him any differently

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