Boxer’s Fracture

In an undergrad

Class many years ago, a

Classmate, orthodox

Jewish, nineteen, told

Us about verbal abuse

He’d endured by a

Random passerby

That morning, a man incensed

By his dress and hair.

The classmate, young and

Strong, related his response,

Which was to confront

The abuser and

“Get up in his face, but my

Friends got me away

From him.” Another

Classmate, older, African

American woman, gave

Him this advice: “If

Someone does something wrong to

You, don’t be the one

To go to jail. Send

Them to jail, but don’t ever

Do anything to

Get arrested.” This

Wisdom returns to me some

Nights, reading x-rays

For emergencies.

Boxer’s fractures, like above,

Are very common.

I’d like to ask these

Young men, “son, what can someone

Say to you worth pain

Your life long? Heinous

Words deserve social responses,

Not breaking bones and

Risking death, arrest,

Disability. You will

Heal, but you’ll not be

Given the bone you

Had. Use the rest to create

Something beautiful.”

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