Stephanie Humphries

Two girls invite a neighbor boy

over to play hopscotch in the parking lot.

If his friends were home,

he’d be playing soccer,

running over top of the girls

from time to time.

Today he’s grateful for the invitation.

The two friends explain the rules in Bulgarian,

but the actions are universal.

The boy mimics their arms and hands,

bending low to pitch his rock.

Not quite right, the girls say.

Try again. Do it our way.

The game begins and I smile,

seeing the boy struggling

to stay within lines he’s never noticed before.