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I kneel on rice

By: Evelyn Dianne Rodarte


I kneel on rice    

my hands are in the air 

with books on my hands

my skin is screaming

as every little grain digs deeper

into my skin. My body is aching

as I am only six and 

can not carry the weight of five

books on each hand.

These books that felt more like boulders


You told me this was my punishment 

But mom all I did was spill 

my glass of milk.

I’m sorry.


The self who has become weak,

she is numbed by the pain 

these grains of rice that

felt more like glass 

have now imprinted on her skin. 

She takes herself into oblivion in hopes 

she’d get rid of her despair 

as any place is better than one, she’s in.