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 “She Hid”
 
She hid behind
her sunglasses
and under her
hoodie
with her
headphones
on underneath
that,
cast out
and a drift
in a sea
of faces
with names
she doesn’t care
to know,
the unwanted
recognition 
that glares from
their eyes
was impossible
to ignore
as she waded
into the crowd
through the twisted
mass of limbs
and teeth
that acted as
if it was all
part of one
giant flesh covered
entity,   
overwhelmed
by the thoughts
and glances
they were assaulting
her with
lacking that invisible
protective layer
of Saran wrap
that most people
have tightly wrapped
around their brain
keeping all the
spoiled and rotten
smells out
and the fresh
thoughts in,
but she was
born
without it
left exposed
to the world’s
ever probing
stares
and the subtle
interactions
being flung at
her
from all directions
living in the
vacuum
of a constant
freefall
just waiting for
that abrupt stop
she knows is
coming up to
greet her,
her thumb
dials up the
volume
calling on her
music
to surround her
to fight back
against the feelings
that are trying
to take hold
of her
a delaying action
at best
giving her a
little more time
to find an
empty space
a corner
or nook
she can slip
into
till this feeling
passes over
her,
she finds shelter
on an old
deserted
wooden bench
closes her eyes
as she silently
mouths the words
to the next
song
as it starts
to play
never understanding
this overload
of anxiety
and emotion
that can suddenly
strike
coming down
hard
on her
out of nowhere
like a rouge
wave,
she’s halfway
through the third
song  
since she first
sat down
no longer mouthing
the words
as she again
opens her eyes
to the sun
able now to
scale back the
music
that’s beating into
her ears
an amplified
teddy bear
to hold on to,
her personal
defense system
back on line
ready to accept
the challenge of
another day
that crashed
and burned
all before lunch
she stands up
points herself
back towards
that glob of
quivering gelatin
we call humanity,
she pulls back
her hoodie
the soft breeze
plays with her
hair
while drying the
nervous sweat
that had been
building up
on the back
of her neck
her outlook
more in focus
now
as she takes
a couple of
steps
away from the
bench,
she slides her
sunglasses
down her nose
and looks over
them
liking her world
not quite so
bright
she pushes her
sunglasses
back in to
place…
 
     Tom Allen…11-15-2018…