Trade Off

Randy punched me in the mouth when we were ten. He said it was an accident; I thought it had something to do with my baseball card collection and not loaning him my Willie Mays. My upper lip swelled on the right side and the inside was slightly cut so I couldn’t eat any salty foods for a week. My mom called his mom and complained. His mom called his father at work and complained. Randy saw me at school the next day and complained. He couldn’t see me very well though because his eye was black and blue and almost swollen shut.  He couldn’t speak very well either because his lower lip was split and puffy on the left side. But still, he wanted to meet at lunch to play catch. Randy murdered someone when he was twenty-one. He said it was an accident; I knew it had nothing to do with baseball cards.


Copyright: Joie Norby Lê 2007
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Joie N. Lê

Joie Norby Lê is an educator, writer, and mother of three. She has a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. She is a guest speaker on qualitative research methods, diversity in the classroom, and topics related to Viet Nam's orphans of war. She geeks out on poststructural philosophy and historical fiction.

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