Dear Arienette,

You are a sacred, middle-school memory;
a mix of sober, bright, door-step greetings
and red-eyed front-porch farewells.

With a clever, keen mind
you learned to deconstruct the patterns in everything.
Your series of perfect 4.0s and your childhood joy
ended with a crisis, a slick cynic's tongue,
and endless 30-day chips: but no G.E.D.

With your handsome, blue eyes
and sharp, cutting words
you excoriate everyone who breaks the law
and vilify the ones who make them.

You cross tight-ropes of justice,
and believe yourself to be special;
a one-of-a-kind, troubled,
sleep-walking, flightless bird
to be praised and pitied.

But just remember,
we’re all colorful sheep
in a colorless herd.

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