An old man used to sit outside my school every day, playing music on a traditional Chinese instrument. He would move a light wood stick over two pieces of metal. Most of the time the songs he played were slow, but some of the time he’d play ones that were real quick, and at those moments we kids would gather around. We had no problem making excuses to our teachers to leave class for five minutes, or take an extended lunch break.
Knowing a father’s belt has snap-
ping metal teeth, one does not
have to think of kneeling.
One kneels. One kneels
to please before the word is
heard or the leather tongue
slides drily through the loops.
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