It started as a stupid summer camp
argument about baseball and Ernie Banks
but escalated into a bare-knuckled brawl.
Lenny Cosentino called me, “a stupid nigger,”
I yelled, “I’m a dago just like you.”
“You’re not one of us, he taunted,
you’re black like them”
so I punched him in the face.
We flailed at each other
until a camp counselor
pulled me away, made me apologize,
Though I shook Lenny’s hand, I seethed
all day, I wasn’t sorry.
But sitting alone in the back of the bus
I tried to rub away
the olive skin on my arm.
Frank C Modica is a retired teacher who taught children with special needs. His work is forthcoming or has appeared in Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Blue Mountain Review, and Raconteur Review. Frank’s first chapbook is forthcoming from Alabaster Leaves publishing.