Backwards Girl by Mira Bohannan Kumar

Heel-toe slaps,
Again and again.
One foot in front of the
Other; I am not
running away
I am moving forward
but facing the wrong

Dirty once-white toes careful
on the bright white walk as
balance fails
Again and again.
Worn once-black soles loud
on the jet-black street as
Traffic stops.

A shout and a lean
out the window
Into the cloudy air.
Hop to safety at the
side of the road, heels catching.
The rust-gilt cars shake weary grizzled
heads at the Backwards Girl
in the old shoes.

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