“Untitled” by Larry Block

The boys of the Mandika tribe -
who in their fractured language
call themselves: Time's Excrement -
are treated roughly by their mothers;
have their ears pulled and their
penises scalded by boiling water

for good reason;

But they endure the rudeness they perceive;
the sixteen year passage into Mandika manhood -
or Full Shit, in their language -
then one day, without warning,
they grab their mothers,
kiss them on the lips,
slap their faces hard,
then disappear forever
into a stand of palms some miles away;
into the sacred grove
where their fathers are slumped against
a favorite tree;
not recognizing their beaten offspring,
not begrudging them their awful passage;
maybe even making room for them
in the shade of a frond,
and passing the pipe.