hiding behind black everything—
hair protruding from a black hoodie,
covering all but one eye.
Headphones are pumping sounds
into the darkly shrouded form;
I see the wires that must lead to an iPod
Staring down, so as not to
greet the oft-dismissing world, she walks
with slow purpose, counting the steps,
within the walls
where she keeps her fear of rejection.
She looks at me, despite herself,
as if she doesn’t want to be seen, but does—
and she can’t hide it
that she is happy
to be noticed.
Hers eyes are pools of wounded gray,
deep, and soulful.
And I keep looking—eyes tell stories,
and everyone should have one.
Then I spot them—her black Converse shoes
have purple shoelaces,
and this bespeaks
She doesn’t want to be disregarded.
is just waiting
until it’s safe
to be seen.
I smile, at them, at her;
and she grins, lifts her chin,
and walks on.
While it occurs to me
wearing purple shoelaces.
Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner