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This Kid by James Penha | micropoetry | #thesideshow

James Penha

This Kid

by James Penha

This kid
in a hooded jacket
aiming a gun
at Diane Arbus
in N.Y.C. 1957
could be me:
I was 10
that February
and this kid
protecting his
mom as I used
to do looks ready
for a Manhattan
winter as we were
every birthday
at the Automat,
a picture and the
show at Radio City
and someone
not my mother
who hated guns
did give me
a  Roy Rogers
six-shooter I carried
everywhere for days
even at school until
I was told not to
and I wonder one if
Diane Arbus thought
I was a freak and two
what might happen
if that kid were Black
today. Like the kid
in the photograph,
he’d be 10 forever.


A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past quarter-century in Indonesia. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and in poetry. His essay “It’s Been a Long Time Coming” was featured in The New York Times “Modern Love” column in April 2016. Penha edits TheNewVerse.News, an online journal of current-events poetry. @JamesPenha

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