Not One Of Us

Not One Of Us – a poem

He was made of twigs,

skinny as a sapling, and as pliable,

if you bent him right, which we

too often did. Ash blond hair

and bright blue eyes,

thin white skin and a squeal

like a girl, the impenetrable sex,

which crowded him out, not in.

All of us ragged and ruffled him,

stuffed sheaves of grass

under his jumper,

teased and tormented him

all alone, all of us always

at him just because he was

not one of us.

There were more, of course,

other singletons, quiet ones

and simpletons, fat lads and

odd sods, strangers

from some otherwhere

that was not here,

not our place.

We chivvied and chased

and harried and played them

for fools, for what they were,

which was not one of us.

I hope they made something

of themselves

in spite of us, to spite us.

It’s only now, looking back

through the lens of a life,

that I can see what we were.

I can’t justify or explain it.

I can just feel the shame of it.

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