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TheWhippingRobertHayden

by mrspark
Last updated 8 years ago

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TheWhippingRobertHayden

The Whipping

The old woman across the wayis whipping the boy againand shouting to the neighborhoodher goodness and his wrongs.Wildly he crashes through elephant ears,pleads in dusty zinnias,while she in spite of crippling fatpursues and corners him.She strikes and strikes the shrilly circling boy till the stick breaksin her hand. His tears are rainy weatherto woundlike memories:My head gripped in bony viseof knees, the writhing struggleto wrench free, the blows, the fearworse than blows that hatefulWords could bring, the face that I no longer knew or loved. . . .Well, it is over now, it is over,and the boy sobs in his room,And the woman leans muttering againsta tree, exhausted, purged ---avenged in part for lifelong hidingsshe has had to bear.


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