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someday (a fragment of memory)

I see you
in your dress with your kind eyes.
I know your parents must not have much money.
I know about shoes with holes.

You smell nice. Like flowers or the rain.
I like that you will sit with me.

You sit with me.
Even though I smell like pee.
Even though everyone things I’m weird.
What I don’t get is why YOU are here
With your good smells and your worn out shoes
And your little, swirly flowers on the paper.

I am afraid that the other girls will tease you if you talk to me.
I am afraid that the boys will hurt you if you sit with me.
I’m glad you’re here though.

I wonder if you’re nice to me because sometimes
someone isn’t nice to you.

But who could ever hurt you?

I know why my clothes are dirty
and why I am punched in the face by Adam and Paul.
It’s because I deserve it.
That’s what he says.
He says I am worthless.

But YOU, you are like a flower
that I would never want to step on.

And here, in Mrs. Burnett’s third grade class
With the windows closed, it’s getting hot
and I know the smell is stronger today.

But you still smile at me and offer to sharpen my pencil.
Inside your smile, I see sadness and I want to just hug you
or touch your cheek.

Someday, I will be normal.
Someday, I will have some money.
Someday, I won’t be worthless
and I will smile back.
And someday, I will buy you new shoes.

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