His First Day of School
by Larry Thomas

- Coyanosa, Far West Texas

Feigning bravery, Javier held his tears
from his anxious mother till she disappeared
in the cloud of dust stirred up by the bus.
He cried softly so the old driver couldn’t hear him.

In a blur of tears, he made out the cotton gin
where his dad worked seven days a week,
working the cotton which, within an hour
and unbeknownst to him, would do him so proud

in the visible red underwear stretched across
the backsides of the big dudes in Fort Stockton,
the cotton of blue jeans cinched defiantly
at the base of their big-dude-buttocks.

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