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Two by Two

“Marcus?” his caseworker said, her hands folded on Mama’s kitchen table. “Did something happen to your sneaker?”

Marcus looked down at his size thirteen feet—two shoes, one old, one new. “No ma’am.”

“Why don’t they match?” She didn’t understand that matches weren’t the same as pairs. Daddy never told her about arks.

“They’re opposites,” he said. Daddy explained it better because he had more words. That was okay. Marcus was better at pairing.

“Like your socks?”

One foot, two foot, red foot, blue foot. Marcus smiled and nodded. “You and me, we’re opposites, too.”

“I guess we are. Is your father still spending all his time at the hospital?”

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