Poem from Dark Sky Park by Philip Gross

After the fiftieth insult - 

the school bag down the toilet, the stifled

giggle-whisper that hung like a smear on the air - 


she suddenly saw

there was another way to be:


the singular one,

who makes friends with the dark,

the cold, the weather no one else wants to go out in,


who makes it her own - 

who won't accept a lift in hail and sleet,


who won't put up her hood,

who'll turn to face the slapping rain,

who's on a solo expedition, always, to the place


without maps, the place no one else 

dares, and who survives it. See how almost casually


she walks straight through

the crowd (that stops its jostling

and goes still) as if she'd looked them in the eye


and said "There's nothing

worse than this that you can do to me".