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Dalani Warner

are Cruel

I was an ugly girl
I sat with the ugly people
In the front of the school bus
Dark hair and dark eyes
Threatening to taint the sea of pale
So to the front of the bus I sat
Heavy backpack, corduroy pants
Next to the Arab girl
Who was obsessed with Madonna
"What a pair," a pretty boy said
Peering at us, snickering
Glasses and books
Studious and talented
It doesn't matter on the schoolbus
Kids still threw gum at our hair
Whispers behind our backs
Laughter and dirty looks
Wadded up homework papers
Aimed at our heads
But we sat facing forward
In our own world
Ignoring the ignorance
That surrounded us
Antagonized, ostracized
Kids are cruel
Eventually they moved on
And teased other kids
My Arab friend moved away
Years passed and I blossomed
I teased the boys
Led them on
And held out
Because it's something I learned
On the school bus
It's the way of school life
Kids are cruel
It's my turn.

(c) Dalani Warner 2002