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Noon bell rings
and children fly
to tire swings
and dodge ball,
tag, you're it.
My patent leather
mary-janes reflect
sunlight and kid
shrieks as I wander
the playground
studying groups of
peers, and I wonder
when the judging
started. Too
smart (piles of
books fall), too
quiet (whispers
behind my back),
funny clothes (tweed
and denim in a
public school),
you never get
a second chance.
Look down and
disappear, waiting
for the second
bell to signal
the end
of recess.

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