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Friday, March 20, 2015


by Sister Lou Ella Hickman

Middle school hasn't always been the kindest of places, and when a cheerleader with Down syndrome was bullied from the stands during a boys' basketball game, it seemed to be just another example of kids being cruel — until a few players stepped up to make it stop. It turns out that Desiree Andrews, an eighth grader from Kenosha, Wis., had some friends in her corner. "The kids in the audience were picking on D, so we all stepped forward," said Lincoln Middle School basketball player Chase Vasquez, who told TMJ4 in Milwaukee about the moment a teammate finally left the court to ask for the harassment to stop. NY Daily News, March 12, 2015

the cheering crowds provided anonymity
or so they thought . . .
for who would call them on their words
like a foul or an out of bounds
then came time out
for this time
in a world of monstrous bullies
grown from small ones like these . . .
three boys to men also grown
simply said




losers, your game is over


Sister Lou Ella Hickman, I.W.B.S. has been a teacher and a librarian.  Her poems have appeared in America, Commonweal, Sojourners, and First Things among others.  Her first book of poetry entitled she: robed and wordless will be released in the fall of 2015 by Press 53.  She is presently a poet, freelance writer, and a spiritual director.