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Peggy Aiello
NINTH GRADE

Dressed in another’s cast-offs,
aware of how they drape
her boyish frame.
No other girl on earth could be this dreary.

She steps around the corner and down the hall.
Jejune boys huddled at the bend in the hallway —
watching over pedestrian students.
She clings to the lockers
wishing they could swallow her in.
The passage too narrow to slip by,
no place to go to avoid their whispers
and foolhardy laughter. What callous observation
would those tinsel teeth reveal today?

Raising her chin and passing the lair
there are no comments betrayed
this day; she bedamns them
for making
her feel
so
unlovely.