Roll Call: Lila

Lila is the girl
who was bullied in elementary school
and camp, who was angry
that those girls were so vicious,
who wanted to fight back
but didn’t get to,
because it was all
so very petty, and maybe because
other parts of me thought
we deserved it. after all
my own mother told me I was
useless on a daily basis,
who’s to say
she wasn’t right?

when Charlotte Whitaker
saw how I laughed
when Brooke Bray got her wrist caught
by the science room door knob
in 7th grade – I did laugh and it was
because Brooke had been my friend
but then shunned me, and I was hurt
and mad – but then Charlotte
cornered me and physically restrained me
while she yelled at me and a teacher
had to step in and rescue me, Lila
thought that was some serious
bullshit. sometimes you have to
stand your ground if you don’t want
to be a doormat forever.
Lila would have told
Charlotte, “yeah I laughed – that bitch
deserved it”.

the other parts
are afraid of Lila. they don’t want
to let her talk, for fear
of becoming one of those mean girls
that made our life
a living hell. they think
that there are only two choices
in life – be mean, or be abused.
but Lila knows that the only way
to be free of this dichotomy
is to know that you
have the ability to be mean
and then you can choose
not to use it.

also? fuck those girls, they were
assholes who didn’t deserve
to make us feel bad
for even a second, let alone
30 years later.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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