From our mostly white school in Kansas
we brothers were pulled
to be enrolled into Pomona School in California,
a place of multiple colors, multiple accents,
and multiple altercations.
Soon we found ourselves pummeled and pummeling
on the asphalt playground, our futures dependent
on how we punched back at the
white, brown and black faces that attacked us
between the painted white lines.
For homework we pulled kitchen chairs
into a circle in our dirt yard to watch neighborhood kids
with fat boxing gloves swing for the head.
We waited for our turns.
Fresh from white Kansas
we were a year ahead
in reading, writing, and math.
But we had catching up to do
in the other subjects.