More Than What You See: Readiness

…The nice way of saying
you have to repeat kindergarten.
None of my other friends were there,
only my stuffed duck,
a little blue scarf around its neck
nearly squeezed out its stuffing
I held it so dearly to me.
I remember having to let it go
the teachers voice like an echo now
urging me to put it down.
It may have made me weirder than the rest.
It was all I had to comfort me
and I let it go.

I made a friend then,
a boy. I don’t remember his name
but I remember seeing him
at the company Christmas party
for the local cops.
He was the boss’s son.
My father was there to impress
his boss.
I remember my brother
standing to the right of me
when the boy said he would
get ten dollars if his two front teeth
fell out together.
“So, let’s play karate.”
He said, excited.

I shrugged
and thought
“Okay”
I kicked him in the mouth.
I remember the look of awe
on my brothers face,
his mouth wide open.

The Boss’s son ran to his mom crying
with his hand over his mouth
she took a look, and sighed,
“Well, they’re supposed to fall out anyway.
Go on, tell Silvaan you’re okay.”

There was a lot of blood.
When he dropped his hand under his chin
his two front teeth nestled perfectly in his palm.
“Yh’m okayh, Seelven.”

My mother asked,
“Why did you do that?”
“I just wanted to help.”
I said crying;
not understanding the explosion
of panic in the room.
I cried as I held my mother closer
and all the cops ran for cover.

I look back and laugh.
Dyslexia can affect so many things
in the thinking process.
But it’s also possible because of how
I was born that I have dyspraxia
making the processing of thoughts
even slower.
I wonder
what would have happened if I hadn’t
let go of that little yellow duck?

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