At his age, you’d expect his eyes to grow wide
His mouth to open in shock,
His shoulders to rise and curl around himself in protection.
At his age, you’d expect him to defer to an adult,
Rather than to step forward,
Mouth a tight, flat line, eyes hooded and hard,
Shoulders weary, but squared in long-accustomed strength
Well beyond his years.
But Life doesn’t always protect the most vulnerable.
Children sometimes have to step up,
Where angels and adults fear to tread.
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2020)
Midtown Writer’s Group: Prompt = 3 mins on “At his age”