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September 30, 2009
By , Glen Ellyn, IL
With her braided pigtails swinging
Past the vivid green and blue swingset
With older people doing strange things
And a watermelon smile
She pecked a blondehaired boy on the cheek
And laughed when he tugged her braid
And was read a magical story at night
And stuck Pretty Pony band aides on her fishtank
Because she was sure that her fish liked it
And it was the right thing to do.

The same girl jogged past the swingset
Dripping of chipped blue and green paint
With a cropped haircut and a cell phone
And ignored the couple making out
And read chapter 29 of her history book
When her mom called for her to go to bed
And she went to sleep with a blue band aide from a paper cut
That her malnourished fish didn’t like that much at all.

The very same girl with dyed hair and a cell phone
Who went to a highschool down the block
Got busted smoking weed
Under a broken old swingset
With a blondehaired pot addict
And was given a plain band aide
For the slash marks on her wrist she had made
Even though it wasn’t the right thing to do
And slept in a jail cell
And wasn’t read a story that night.

No longer a girl,
The old woman swung on the rusted swingset
With an outdated cell phone
Because the swinging motion helped her forget her drug addiction
And she let herself fall
Because she had suffered too long
And she snapped her spine
And the blondehaired man wasn’t there to catch her
And her mother wasn’t there
With loving arms and a pretty pony band aide
But her fish were calm
Because it was the right thing to do.

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