Sardines, Bastards, and Statistics

when i was little i thought a bastard

was a small fish

i confused it with the word sardine

it seems ridiculous now

but i remember saying it after school one day

thinking nothing of it

playing with the aftercare kids

whose parents came four hours later

than the parents

that we all thought loved their kids

more than ours loved us

i used the word for some brilliant

seven-year-old playground analogy

and still remember

the aftercare lady looking at me

with a very slight watering in her eyes

looking at me like a statistic

like a bastard who didn’t know yet

he wasn’t a small fish

i didn’t mind it at the time

unaware of what her thoughts may have been

but looking back

her feelings didn’t help me in any way

i have no interest in being a statistic

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