by Mallory Wheeler of JMS
Thin legs crossed beneath a desk.
She sits away from the rest.
Always waiting, always aching
For old times that would never exist.
Thin legs crossed upon a swing.
Instead of a girl, they call her a thing.
‘Never again’ the promise she makes.
But it won’t be fulfilled, not today.
Thin legs crossed under a bag.
Eyes cast down and looking sad.
Twirling curls with one lonely finger.
A boy sits near, she hopes he’ll linger.
He glances her way with a wink.
‘A new one, he doesn’t know.’ the thin-legged girl thinks.
Every class, beside her he sits.
A single friend, so she admits.
When one cruel being calls her a thing,
He hops back up and takes a swing.
A red mark made with just a slap.
Some children stand and clap.
He’s sent to the office with a wink.
‘What a wonderful boy.’ the thin-legged girl thinks.
He returns two days later, suspended for a while.
But he claims to her that he will never tire,
Of closing the mouths that can’t keep shut.
The steel hearts, he says, he can cut.
Thin legs cross no more.
Now they stand at his door.
A smile blossoms on his face,
To see the girl that calls him her saving grace.
He holds out an arm with a wink.
‘You sweet boy.’ the thin-legged girl thinks.
But today she doesn’t think, she says.
And today he doesn’t wink, he instead,
Embraces her with a newfound hope.
That one day, the thin-legged girl will no longer mope.