Birthright

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December 21, 2017 by The Citron Review

by Barbara O’Byrne

 

In a Polaroid of a circus parade, a panoply of gauzy, bespangled children, you stand at the front dressed as a bum.

A discarded charcoal jacket overlays shiny brown trousers, the legs dangling like sausages from a cord-cinched waist. Doughnut-cuffs circle delicate ankles peeping from tennis shoes.

Copper and gold curls stuffed inside a beat-up grey cap. Porcelain cheeks smeared with grease paint.

Emerald eyes, jubilant in the summer sun, generously widen as the camera whines.

Smarter than Rebecca, braver than Jacob, without books or teachers, you learned to hide to get where you belonged.

 

Barbara O’Byrne is a Literacy Education professor living in Charleston, WV where she directs a site of the National Writing Project. Her fiction has appeared in Perigee: Publication for the Arts, Flash Fiction Magazine. When not writing, she can be found on a bicycle.

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Snow on brush in desert

IMAGE CREDIT: Jill Katherine Chmelko. Protest Road, Winter. 2019.

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