racial tension

Racial Tension

Trolis was my hero.
A black boy in
cub-scout blue,
a yellow scarf
& a beanie.
He took Bernie Factor
apart on the playground
& got sent to the office.
No one took on
Bernie Factor,
but he called
Trolis a nigger,
mistaking quietness
for cowardice.


We all lived in
the trailer court–
Jews, black boys
Irish Catholics
& Mexicans,
& after he took down
Bernie Factor,
the Mexicans
tattooed a
small cross
in the pink flesh
between Trolis’
thumb & index finger
& made him
an honorary member
of something Mexican.


saw the whole thing
with Bernie &
Trolis &
the Mexicans
as racial,
but as usual
they had no idea
who their
children were.

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