Outsider by Finola Scott

Hood up he slides in the side gate

heads across the playground

slinks past gossips.

He knows all short cuts

how to avoid teachers, how

not to be seen.

Hands deep in pockets, an angry

shadow, he ducks past

the tuck shop. Sweet machines

pull kids like iron filings, but not him.

He has no interest in sugar

or sharing. Head bent,

behind draped curtain of hair

he catches no eyes, makes no contact.

Insulated, isolated in his ‘phones

armoured by his tunes, a singing shadow

he drags his feet, trailing laces,

& wonders what it’s all about.

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