Nineteen

Behind the door they’re picking teams, the little drummer boys. The pitcher, the catcher, the left field, the right; the centre, the short stop, the bases picked off one-two-three. They finish with the chubby one, the one who wheezes when he runs – the one with buttons straining to be let pop. They scatter to the corners of the field like calves after winter.

There is one left behind. He has been hiding – he did not want to be chosen – he has other things to play. He sucks a boiled sweet, nods to himself. “Pa rum pum pum pum,” he says.

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