I’d guess she was about ten or eleven years old,
skipping along to her dad’s long stride,
holding his hand and oblivious for a sweet while
to the taunting, whispers and giggles she must get from her classmates.
I saddened to think of what it must be like for eye-patch girl,
or braces-legs, or hare-lip kid, and all those others
who have had “carefree” stripped from their childhood monikers,
and endure the cruel life of stand-aparts in a fitting-in society.
I imagine her going to school on Monday
and hearing about the Saturday night sleepover party
she didn’t get invited to, the ice-cream cake she didn’t eat
and the new CD that she didn’t dance wildly to with the other girls in pajamas.
But while she’s skipping, I think she’s lovely and brave
and I want to pitch a tent in my back yard, hang lanterns in the trees,
invite her to come overnight camping along with hare-lip, braces-legs
and all the other stand-aparts to my big misfit jamboree,
where I’ll tell jokes, make them smores, and point out all the constellations, so they’ll learn to keep their heads up, if only to look at the stars.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.