This poem is taken from PN Review 42, Volume 11 Number 4, March - April 1985.From Eden Street
After school I'd tag along to the dead end
For the hurling. The sticks weren't regulation,
But they did. Rag ball got knocked a goodly bit,
Along with me: plucked stones from my palms, spit grit;
But quiet as snow in those pale, broken weeds,
Hugging curb or church wall on my knees I'd bleed,
Sucking back tears and my bloody tongue. New scabs
Grew thick green over old. Shook their heads and
The boys did, standing over me. Said the small
Bloody good I was could crawl under the ball.
There might as well not have been a ball, for all
They let me at it. Shaking, I'd get back up,
To show I could take it, each time tasting blood
And Eden, buzzed by the few flies in the chill
Hanging on - till night fell, sooner and sooner
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