The worst insult I ever stood for
Was from a girl with perfectly glossed lips
In grade eight
Who said only I would understand fat cheerleaders-
I had never once before wanted to cheer
But in that instant
I wanted to harness all the pep in the universe
And push a round off into her jaw

The hardest lesson I ever learned
Was from a boy who lied too much
In grade nine
When I had to let him go
I learned how to hold his hand and free his heart
And watch him kiss her lips
While tears fell down my smiling ones

The best compliment I ever received
Was from a messy-haired boy
In grade ten
Who told me the whites of my eyes
Looked especially bright today
And how I sort of glowed a little.
From that day on, he is the reason
I consider beauty beyond the bounds of my waist

The first time I willfully left a friend
Was a pretty girl with freckles
In grade eleven
Who I loved so much but couldn’t handle
I couldn’t make my words right
And I kept hurting and getting hurt
In a circle that eventually
Drove me to say goodbye

The hardest decision I ever made
Was to leave a chocolate-eyed boy
In grade twelve
Whose hands held my heart
And head and hips like I was sacred
But when kisses scattered and bloomed
Just like the flowers of the spring
I left him for a world of promises far less certain
Than his quiet and steady ones



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