Too Quiet: New Orleans, 1957

In the picture we sit

Quiet

Row upon straight row

Hands folded on the desk tops

Quiet

Uniformed, combed, clean

Quiet

And white

All white

Watched over by Sister

Standing in her habit

Only her face visible

Hands folded inside her habit

Quiet

All girls

The boys

Starting in sixth grade

Went to a different school

We imagined them rowdy

Rough

Dangerous

Not quiet

Just a few short years later

Ruby walked into school

Quiet

Between two US Marshalls

And all hell broke lose.

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