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Pack Animals

Groups of teenage
boys laughing
like hyenas
still make me
grit my teeth and
tighten my grip
as the twelve
year old me
crosses her arms
across her chest,
pushes her eyes
down like a
criminal when
my only crime
was passing them
on the sidewalk.
Boys in packs
are hunters, not
friends and a twelve
year old girl can’t
fight back, so she
learns to walk fast
and smile like an
apology but not
like an offering.

4-17-13
Originally published in Atticus Review, 7-16-13

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