The Anthem

She watches as the flag goes up,

Expecting it to shriek, but it never does.

She's sure the boy on the podium knows her name.

And the principal as well, as a matter

Of course, as she's the only one in the crowd


Who doesn't know the anthem yet by heart


Who can't bring herself to speak the language

To anyone, unless she has to, in which case

She isn't the one doing the bringing.

She's sure they'll catch her out soon, and

Take her to the front, perhaps, to apologize.


Because she doesn't know the anthem by heart


It scares her, and it keeps her down

When, as she's running with the crowd

Of students, she imagines every lap is

Once round the equator, and she

Doesn't have to be human anymore.

She's sure they must be looking for her.

Any moment now they'll pounce.

It's certain even the flag must know her name.


But she won't ever know their anthem by heart.



What an incredible way to address this subject! Thank you!

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