Playground

She flashed alive in a fight, as if circling me in some
cold car park, rolling a knife from hand to hand,
dabbing the air with it. Even her face was drawn
and bladed, as if this was her moment—the one
she’d been waiting for—and she grew thin
and sharp and accurate, all quickness and glint.
Anybody watching might have thought her
a bacchante or a butcher, but you couldn’t be sure.
 
It was always a blur; the way I remember that time
behind the science block, curled up on the concrete:
the four of them all stood there, around me, kicking,
and me thinking only about the small glass bottle
of milk in my pocket, which my mother had put there
as I left, as I set off for school.

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Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

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