At the intersection of what has always been and what might be,
A short teenage girl stretches tall, centre stage,
Her favourite blouse of red and white stripes complete with floppy bow
Distracts only slightly from her deliberately punc-tu-a-ted words,
Shared into a screechy mic atop the old oak podium.
Harsh amateur spotlight provides a momentary halo,
Trades her dark chestnut hair for light ashy blonde.
The change mimics her rehearsed act of defiance,
Trading natural, absolute shyness
For feigned, casual confidence.
A fledgling leader addressing her assembled, disheveled, constituents,
Before fifth bell dismisses classes for the day.
One rounded, one jagged.
Puzzle pieces never able to click-fit.
Don’t make trouble, I begged,
Never understanding she didn’t.
Her heart broken in shards, impossible to mend.
My wrists cut in bloody despair.
She salved, bandaged my wounds
Before fading from view.
Many’s the night you’ve walked these same miles, without ever lifting from your chair.
Dreams like loosed cobblestones, a path crumbling underneath your worn, hobo shoes.
Brief solace sometimes sought, diversions for your wearied soul.
Slippery side streets and names you no longer remember.