fumble through kitchen drawers
for old newspaper and a plastic bag,
squeeze a copy of The Herald
under a cold tap
into a ball,
call neighbourhood friends,
three cousins,
a few older friends, too – old
enough to smoke in front of elders, be parents.
they have been seventeen forever,
demigods who transcend epoch. perhaps
they’re simultaneously there and elsewhere.
congregate, barefoot on a front lawn
of gravel and grass. a voice will heave heyi! that ball
better not touch these windows.
the feigned caution it inspires will
dissipate within seconds of
you and your older cousin
flinging umdudla between you,
plastic against palm
calling others to commence.
a game like this will never happen again.
when the next kid runs up,
fire. aim for any and all flesh or bone below
shoulders, thighs are a popular target.
as you hit, others will bear witness
to ball bouncing off his body,
ears echo with the m-doosh!
as he exhales, a symphony
of laughter will resound.