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A New Girl Among Us
Hanna, Age 12, Fairfax, VA

It's Friday.
It's the weekend.
She should run up the steps to the bus
Smiling,
Talking,
And sharing her leftover desert with us.
She doesn't.
She drags her feet.
Not one word escapes her mouth as she
Sits down across from me.
Stares out the window.
In her own world of misery and exhaustion.
When I think about what she's dealing with,
I decide not to call her name.
She can think about it over the weekend,
See her old friends,
Forget about it for a while,
Until Monday comes.
Then she'll have to face it.
Try to rebuild
The life she used to have,
At her old school.
Maybe, on Monday, I will call her name,
And hold out my hand,
And help her through this,
So that she doesn't have to suffer on her own.

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