Unsolicited Witness

Ladan Osman

I saw him change an F into a B by the lockers.

He caused the lines to curve.

He made bridges where there were none.

He was the one who poked a hole in the Barbie pool.

When the girls filled it, there were sudden tears on the old carpet,

all the dolls on their backs, expectant.

He used to wait under the basement stairs and grab ankles.

It was a monster, he’d say.

He helped his baby sister hide food by the water heater.

He swept the dried rice and cereal.

When their mother found all those fast meals, he stole a Sky Dancer

and propelled it into fluorescent bulbs. The shards came down as glitter.

This is the man who used to play in the dirty stream where the Sears used to be.

He showed me the frogs.

I followed him to a magic dumpster filled with day-old pastries.

There were newspapers and dog shit inside.

about the author