Echoes from the past….

The girls come bouncing up the stairs,

       Smiles light their faces

       Laughter fills their voices

       They greet us.

       I speak with easy pleasure

Responding to the joyous spirits

    Her head stays down

    eyes averted

They reach out to touch

    she moves back, away

They speak softly

     inquisitively

She does not respond

     turns away

     finds something to do

I notice the change

          it hurts

They leave

          puzzled

One remains to hug me

     Then with a wistful look

       also leaves

She asks who they were

     then says “oh…”

These children

         the hurting ones

     look at you

         their eyes are

      deep wells of sorrow

They struggle

        to look like the rest

     they laugh

        too loud

     they talk

         so softly

     afraid they will be

          heard

They fill my classroom

      each straining

          isolated by their

           personal anguish

      to maintain normalcy

So no one will know….

Don’t tell….

Gracie Grimes Hill

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