Steely Boulder

Knew it was wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Sunday school say, “thou shalt not steal.” Can’t help myself. Something rotten in me. That’s what Aunt Gert say. Won’t give away my cotton panties. Let them kids next door. Walk around with no draws. They mama stupid.
Got too many kids.
Teacher say, “Put this steely boulder in Marshall’s desk.”
Good girl hear. Bad girl say, “It mine.”
Big, steel marble. Gotta aim straight. Shoot hard to knock one out the circle.
Sergio got a pocketful. He 13-years-old. Bigger than everyone in second grade.
I puny. Plenty cat eye marbles, puree boulders. Trade ‘em all for steely boulder.
Slip steely boulder into pocket. Roll it between fingers.
Marshall say, “Where my steely boulder?”
Teacher say, “Where Marshall’s steely boulder?”
They eyes say, “You stole that steely boulder!”
I pull it out. Nobody see marble. They see rotten.

Lola Rainey is a writer, educator and community activist. She writes about questions of race, gender and social justice. Ms. Rainey has published two books under her pseudonym, Ivory Simone: Havasu Means Blue Water (a literary fiction), and The Rainy Season (a poetry and prose chapbook).