Taylor Spence, student submission

He storms through the hallway,
face burning red,
mumbling something I can’t quite understand.

Everyone’s having conversations,
unaware of him.

I don’t know his name,
but his face is familiar.
Like I’ve seen him before.

The bell rings and everyone walks to class.
When I step through the door,
there he is,
perched in his chair.

As I make my way to my chair
I try not to stare,
but my conscience loses
and I catch myself looking anyway.

He is quiet and timid;
his blonde hair looks untouched,
and his hands seem rough.

His jeans are ragged and torn.
He has a grease stain on his shirt,
and wears the same brown boots as always.

Everyone’s having conversations,
unaware of him.

The whole class period he remains still,
glaring at his papers,
waiting for the bell to ring.

He is the first one out.
He makes his way through the crowd,
silently bumping into people.
No one notices.

I stand on the curb waiting on my dad.
A blue truck with a busted headlight
makes its way closer.

It stops on the edge of the sidewalk.
He slowly opens the door and climbs into the truck.
They sit there for a while.
His dad begins screaming,
face burning red.

The boy remains silent and says nothing.
His father stops.
The boy replies without looking at him.
He crosses his arms.

The father starts the truck.
They drive off.

The next day I trudge down the hall,
glancing around for him.
I shove a granola bar into my mouth.
Everyone’s having conversations.

I’m aware of him.