MHAM Submission - Natalie Peach

Poem by Natalie Peach

I used to wonder who the girl on the sideline was.
She watched from a distance, always separate from the group.
I used to watch her smiling at the jokes he told,
laughing at the way she laughed,
joining in the conversations once she was noticed.

I used to wonder who the girl in the hallway was.
She walked like everyone else, talked like them too.
She used to walk with her head down and say hi to her friends as they passed, 
but something in her eyes told a deeper story.

I used to wonder who the girl walking home was.
She crossed the street when the lights told her,
and quickened her pace when the people in front were too slow.
She fiddles with her phone every once in a while,
like she’s afraid to make eye contact.

I used to wonder if she laid in her bed every night,
thinking of all the things she could have done,
thinking that if she changed… would she be better?
Thinking of a broken heart, or a lonely soul, or of a way out.

I used to wonder if she cried at night like I do so many times.
If she hugged her pillow tightly, if she drowned out the noise.
I wonder if she puts her music on just to sing and dance.
If she thought of a blade, of pills or the bottle.

I used to wonder if she looked at the stars at night,
if she preferred dusk or dawn, if she liked to lay in the sun.
If she liked the autumn leaves or the snow that fell in December,
If she liked the deep forests, the quiet mountains or the sweep of the ocean.

I used to wonder if she was afraid of the dark,
if she was afraid of love, if she was afraid of spiders, or death, or snakes.
If someone she loved lived far away.
If someone loved her back.

I used to wonder why nobody else saw her but me. 
When I questioned her friends, they looked at me with quiet confusion.
I used to wonder why I couldn’t find her in the hallways or walking home from school.

I saw her today, as I passed by a window, I waved and she waved back.

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