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His name is called and there's a pause
just long enough to halt a war
tame timber wolves and trim their claws
hide diamonds in a secret drawer
He swears on his mother's life he wasn't there.
And if he was there
he swears on his mother's life it wasn't him.
And if it was him
After the fiftieth insult -
the school bag down the toilet, the stifled
giggle-whisper that hung like a smear on the air -
she suddenly saw