The Boy by Karen Friedland

The Boy

Was 7 or 8 years old,
only wanted to kill the baby, tiny fish
that idyllic summer day—

to gather them in warm runnels,
then throw down armloads of sand,
then stomp them
with all his might.

His mother sat placidly nearby,
reading a book;
his baby sister
dug industriously with a tiny trowel.

I sat feet away,
at this gleeful mass murder,
but mute.

Because on beautiful summer days,
all the world over,
boys will be boys.


A nonprofit grant writer by day, Karen Friedland’s poems have been published in Constellations, Nixes Mate Review, Vox Populi, and others. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, received the 59th Moon Prize from Writing in a Women’s Voice, and had a poem hanging for a year in Boston’s City Hall for a year. Her books are Places That Are Gone and Tales from the Teacup Palace. She lives in West Roxbury, MA and is currently duking it out with incurable ovarian cancer.

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