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Smooth play, Ox

What does that even mean?

By Barbara Steinhauser Published 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 1 min read
Smooth play, Ox
Photo by Benjamin Guy on Unsplash

My brother often directed

These words

To me:

“Smooth play, ox.”

Did he mean ox long pips

Which may be smooth but

My backhand was not.

Black ox beetles were

Nocturnal while

I preferred sunshiny mornings.

We were two skinny kids.

Santana had yet to sing Smooth.

Smooth Play members weren’t

Twinkles in anyone’s eyes.

When he said these words,

I was never


I had tripped

Or broken my arm

Falling as he pushed me on

Our money bar swing-set.

His mocking tone

Incensed me.

Finally, I’d had it.

Jutting my chin in the air

I stared down my nose at

The dunce.

“It just so happens

Oxen are not redheaded girls.

If I am a breed of cattle,

I am a proud Highland,

whose red coat

Is adorably fluffy!”


I wish I had said that

As I stared into his

Mischievous blue

Blue eyes.

social commentaryvintageinspirationalhumorchildrens poetry

About the Creator

Barbara Steinhauser

Thank you for taking time to read my stuff. I love writing almost as much as I love my people. I went back to college and earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults and often run on that storytelling track. Enjoy!

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran3 months ago

    Now that's how standing up for one's self is to be done! Loved your poem!

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