• I see her every day,
    Sitting at her school desk,
    Name printed across the top.
    Her eyes meet no others,
    Lips betray no thoughts.

    Recess bell rings,
    She heads for the swings,
    Always takes the red one.
    Gently swinging back and forth,
    Shoes dragging through the gravel.

    Waiting for the bus after school is out,
    She walks slowly past, eyes cast downward.
    Looking up, her emerald eyes catch mine,
    And for a moment I exist in her world,
    My chest hallow and mind screaming.
    It slips away, and she disappears into the crowd.

    The next day, she is not in her desk,
    Her name is not printed across the top.
    Class goes on; nothing is different,
    And somehow, everything has changed.

    Recess bell rings,
    Red swing sways gently in the wind,
    Comes to a slow stop
    Above the tracks in the gravel
    Where someone's shoes used to drag.