Thumbsucker

Was just now walking the dog, before it gets too hot to breathe, and as he was investigating the little tree out in front of the Korean liquor store, a battered yellow school bus pulled up to the stoplight. The bus was loaded with kids, all little black kids, all of them wearing either bright yellow or bright green T-shirts. Girls pointed at the dog, at me, laughed, standing up on their seats. But, about four windows from the back, there was a boy, smaller than the rest, sucking his thumb, staring at me. We locked eyes. After a while, I waved. And he removed the thumb from his mouth, and waved. And smiled.

The light changed. The bus lurched into gear. The boy was jostled, and he returned the thumb to his mouth, and then he was gone.

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