The Potomac - Poetry and Politics
December 2006 - THE POTOMAC

Mahatma Gandhi
   C.L. Bledsoe

     "Shut up, Mahatma Gandhi," my sister said, slapping the back of my head in the book store.
     This was our name for any victim of violence or unfortunate circumstance, ever since Dad explained to us after seeing it on the History Channel, that Gandhi was a practitioner of nonviolence. Which meant "he got his butt beat by everybody, until they got tired of beating it and let him have his way."
     I started crying.
     "He's faking," my sister said.
     I cried louder. Other people in the book store turned and looked at me. I met their stares with my blurry eyes.
     "Go to the van," Mom said.
     My sister glared at me. "Look, he's laughing," she said.
     "No I'm not," I said.
     More people were watching us and the ones who'd glanced before were staring now.
     "Go," Mom said.
     "Mahatma Gandhi," my sister muttered, stalking out.
     I sniffled a few times and calmed myself down. Mom went down an aisle, not saying anything. I picked up a book. I didn't know if I wanted it, but I was going to get it.

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