Monday, March 06, 2006

New school (from a fragment of a dream)

At the bus stop early, uniform too exact
Not fitting in the way you want,
Skirt too long, ribbon too tight, shoes too shiny.
Given a wide berth
Prepared friendly smile for other girls dying hotly,
Their conversation not missing a beat.

No one else comes to the bus stop.

Onto the bus, conversations stop.
Almost full, spare one seat towards the back.
Their eyes on you, making your way there, silently wishing
The warmth would leave your face,
Praying you don't stumble.

Sitting, the rustle of cotton and polyester deafening
Then drift into a short, dreamless sleep.

Awake with a start
Hurriedly wiping your mouth with the back of your hand.
Bag open, quick hands taking things out, putting things in.
You protest, strong hands holding yours.
Money from your purse, counted, recounted and pocketed.

More hands.

A voice, soft, almost kind.
"We're going to bruise you," it says, again and again and again...


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