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Joy 2010

Janet Kuypers
(poetry converted to prose)

    I wasn’t a popular grade-school kid, things were thown at me, I was knocked down once, so I knew kids could be cruel. But once I waslked to a swingset at recess and Joy sat there alone. She was teased because she was overweight. So I asked her why she was alone. She turned her arm so I could see the two-inch long bruise there. She then got up and started to speak and turned and lifted the back of her shirt. She said some kids started hitting her with the chains from the swingset; then I saw her back. I could see how the foot-long bruises matched perfectly with the metal chains.
    I didn’t know what to say. These chains are for swings so children could play. This swing, this tool for joy became a tool for unjust punishment.

Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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