I greet them at morning carpool; happily pluck their pigtailed, sticky faced tots from the constant stream of automatic minivan doors.
Open, pluck, close, next. Familiarity begets confidence.
I am the hero of recess; I bring out the bags of dodge balls and jump ropes for the students to play with.
Run, jump, chase, catch. They remind me of Pomeranians at the pet shop.
I say goodbye in the afternoon. I place them back into the stream of minivans; I tuck them safely into their car seats.
Open, tuck, close, wave. I even chat with their distracted mothers.
They don’t see everything.
My closet is at the end of the hall, where it’s cold and quiet. The administrator says it’s my office. I have mops and buckets and bags of playthings hanging where a window should be.
Brown desk, chair, walls, carpet. Sometimes I disappear into the building.
No one is watching me select from the gaggle, the quietest of the shy ones. My sneer is on the inside, hidden deep within my putrid soul.
Confusion, pain, shame, hush. This is our secret. No one would believe you anyway. You're invisible like me.
You see me every day.
You see what you want to see.
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