Beverley Bie Brahic

Four poems

Future Perfect

Yesterday he thought the future
was a tense they taught you in school
where if you make a mistake
it isn’t the end of the world.

Well he learned his lesson
God now give him
his book bag back
let him be on his way home again

no voyous at the construction site
taking his back pack
his brand new anorak.
And no telling Dad

who 1) won’t go to the cops
for what’s just one more case of extortion
between a boy from Martinique
and some lighter-skinned toughs;

2) won’t go to the construction site
…one brick another brick
another…until Dad falls balled-up on the ground
like a test you failed

yesterday—only yesterday
God so let him be on his way home again
with a little pocket money
to buy a treat at the bakery.

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