She is sitting all alone but she isn’t going to cry –
She won’t make the hateful bullies a present of her tears.
She’s pretending to be reading – books make a good disguise-
And sometimes she feels so much older than her fourteen years.
She’s just a joke to the girls with the perfect skin and hair.
Each day on the way to school they point at her and waddle,
While she pretends she doesn’t hear or see and wouldn’t care.
Climbing a fourteener by comparison’s a doddle.
Fourteen thousand feet above the sea – she’d breathe much better
Despite the thinness of the air around her. She would be
Fourteen thousand feet above all those who wouldn’t let her
Be what she is: fourteen, imperfect, beautiful and free.
Notes: The prompt was to write a fourteener, a poem made up of 14 syllable lines. However, a fourteener in mountaineering terminology (in the USA at least) is a mountain 14,000 feet or higher above sea level. I was going to write this as a fourteen line poem – Petrarchan sonnet or thereabouts – but it wanted to end at twelve, so here it is.