orphaned by hate

As the sun made its shy appearance,

slowly rising from the horizon,

you lifted your head from your pillow

full of anxious anticipation.

The outfit you chose the night before

waited patiently 

to adorn your growing stature.

The smell of breakfast in the kitchen

says you are loved.

Too excited to eat, you quickly dress

and strut around the house 

one last time 

before the bus arrives. 

Kisses and hugs.

Don't forget your lunchbox.

Let me fix your hair. 

Did you brush your teeth?

Be kind to your new friends.

Do what the teacher says.

We'll see you when you get home.

The new teacher seems nice.

Parents are taking pictures.

Some cry as they say goodbye.

Class begins,

recess relieves,

lunch sustains,

and a bell rings in the hall 

signaling a return

to the only home you've ever known.

As the great star begins its daily descent, 

you and your friends wait in line for

your sun drenched transportation

only to be pulled,

one by one,

into another room

that feels more like a mausoleum

than an auditorium this afternoon.

Through the doorway

you see classmates

reunited with protective parents

who cannot bear the thought

of what you are about to hear

and whose eyes cannot meet your own.

Orphaned by hate,

your tears fall on foreign soil

as the lesser light precariously hangs in the sky

providing just enough illumination to cast

a long shadow of aloneness that will be 

your only companion tonight.

Krister White