At school she sat alone at lunchtimes
while the popular girls huddled together
over their cauldron. Sometimes a lovesick boy
would sit by her side in the classroom. Sweet
but childish. He once bought her a rosebud
on Valentine’s Day. His kindness made her smile.
They called her ‘ugly,’ ‘mute,’ avoided her
at playtime till she made herself a cave
on a corner of the sofa. She lined it with a fleece
and wore her nightdress six weeks at a time
too weak to shed her skin. What fools they were!
She’s found her kind of people now. The artists,
the dreamers and the ones who love to sense
the soft air on their skins, the lovers of the
earth and all its creatures, of eastern mysticism
and the mysteries of the mind. She knows
that she is beautiful, spectacular and wise
and that those who once disdained her
have shrivelled, stunted souls.
First published in Reach Poetry