Laura came to school that first day with
knee high socks and light brown streaks in her hair.
She sat in class quietly and raised her hand after
every question and the teachers loved her and the
They called her names, said she was a
They refused to play with her on the
playground she might have cooties.
And Laura Briggs came home to her
full of books and microscopes and curiosity and she
sat there and cried, because she felt so
The next year she wasn't so stupid.
She came into school and was quiet.
But not in the same way.
She kept her mouth shut and giggled when necessary.
She didn't raise her hand in class and stopped
reading and learning and being curious.
She still hated them and herself.
Now she knew to hate, not to cry.
And the children cheered and told her she was all right now,
there was no more devil in Laura Briggs.
The devil was in them.
Carrie Mannino is a freshman at Winchester Thurston High School and lives in Squirrel Hill.