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I watch them
Each face unknown
Their eyes move back and forth
I walk to my desk
In the corner, alone
The teacher begins
I sit there
Each face wondering
Who is she?
As if I’m not there
I glance up
At the girl in front
I see a smile appear
And she laughs
Pointing at me
My face burns crimson
I stare down
At my desk
Out of the corner of my eye
I see
Someone toss
A paper
On my desk
I grab it, and read
“Don’t mind her,” it says,
“She’s just being unkind,
Welcome to school”
I look at her
A quiet, red-haired girl
She smiles at me
And I know
I’ve found a friend.

The Beginning Devorah Malka Reisner
Devorah Malka Reisner, 12
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania