Today's poem is by Carrie Shipers

The Woman Who Can't Forget: 25th High School Reunion

Women hug and squeal. Men put arms
around my shoulders, tell me I look good.
They ask me to pose for pictures, settle
disputes—who blew up the science lab,
which year the football team won state.
No one remembers I ate lunch in the library,
got stood up for senior prom. They don't
remember themselves: Susan spread rumors—
who was gay, pregnant, doing drugs—
we couldn't believe or ignore. Andrew
asked me out to win a dare. Laura ran laps
until she fainted, wore sweaters to hide
her starving arms. I was fat, awkward,
so desperate to be liked I couldn't be.
I thought tonight we'd make amends,
admit the misery that turned us against
ourselves, each other. Instead, we pretend
to wish we'd stayed in touch, pretend
to forget what we can't forgive. If I speak up,
they'll remember we weren't friends.
If I don't, I'll never know if I'm the only one
whose true self hasn't changed.

Copyright © 2016 Carrie Shipers All rights reserved
from Family Resemblances
University of New Mexico Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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