national anthology of the best undergraduate writing 2014

Marbles

Lindsey Newman  • 
American University

You shake the tree,

the white bark chipping,

littering the grass,

sheets of curled damage,

 

the shredded, incriminating

proof. You know

 

they will laugh, tease,

the scraggly boys spitting dares.

 

You loosen the prize:

three pale eggs,

 

cracked, spilling out,

marbles, full of life.

The boys slapped your shoulder, shouted

with triumph, but your eyes gazed

 

at the strange pink insides

staining the grass.