A Memory

I remember the first time I got the wind
knocked out of me, my step-father and I were
outside, an attempt to ignore or avoid the
socialization of distant relatives, he was
nervous I think, a price of ego and pride.

He threw the football too low, and I being
the type to face any oncoming challenge head
on with a blank look on my face caught it right
when it hit the soft spot between my sternum and
stomach, everything went white, I went blind.

I imagined back then this was what a punch
would feel like (it does not), you fall out for
a short period of time, your muscles become the
stuffing of a rag doll, you understand fragility.

He only stood over me and told me to breathe,
something I was already in the process of
figuring out but not quite yet doing.

It’ll pass,’ he said cooly, and the relatives
continued on with their normal routine, iced tea
and cookies, life never took a pause for me,

I got back up.

This, like all pain, would eventually pass,
but nobody ever tells you it’ll become a memory
and unfortunately, those last.

– B.

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