a long time ago when I was in first grade
the first day after lunch we had recess
when everyone ran out to play I stood in the doorway
staring at my sneakers
the teacher asked me what's the matter
why don't you want to play with the other children
see the girls over there playing hopscotch
and jumping rope, why don't you go join them
I said no, I don't like girly things like that
and see, I was a tomboy way back then
so she said then, see the boys over there
playing wallball and kickball
why don't you go join them
and I said no, I'm not good at any sports
nobody wants me on their team
so she said well, you can go swing on the swings
so I did
and the next day, the teacher said the same things
and I replied the same way
so I went and sat on the swingset
the day after, the teacher didn't say anything to me
so I figure she realized getting me to socialize
was too big a project for her
I looked around the playground that day
I tried to jump rope with the girls but
they looked at me, with my short hair, dirty sneakers, and torn jeans and said
go play with the boys
so I tried to play kickball with the boys and they said
no, you're no good at this, we don't want girls playing with us
so I looked around again
I couldn't play with the boys or the girls because
I didn't fit into either group
so I sat on the swingset by myself that day too
and the next day, and the next
and every day for 3 years until I went to middle school
where we didn't have recess anymore
but now 9 years later, I am still
sitting on the swingset