The National Catholic Review

We walked downhill
from school; he was
older than I
was by ages. The hill
was a runnel of shade
and the great trees discarded
their leprous bark down
along the asphalt, curling
and trod into dust. I told him
of a boy who’d misbehaved
at school again. What
makes you think
you’re better than he is?
he asked me.

We walked
in silence after that, wet leaves
under our feet like water . . .

Then as if to remind us both
he said, You’re not God,
you know.

Dan O’Brien is a playwright with many productions to his credit. He has been playwriting fellow at Princeton, Sewanee and the University of Wisconsin.

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