I stumbled across a girl
Hiding behind a trash can
I was startled
But man was she frightened

She whispered urgently,
“I’m hiding from exclamation points.”
I decided to hide with her
Because I was feeling a little vulnerable that day
And the trash in the trashcan didn’t smell too bad

I think I made her profoundly uncomfortable
But after awhile she whispered that
If I wanted to hang out sometime
All I’d have to do is just pay close attention
99% of people don’t play close attention to anything
Much less endeavor
To keep the corners of their eyes peeled
Out of which, she says,
I will most certainly spy her
Peeking furtively around corners
And crouching behind the shrubbery

So I did

Here’s what I learned
About the girl behind the trashcan:

She tries to hide it but she looks sad
She’s sad because she mourns losing out on so much
Joy! and Excitement!
For fear of capital four letter companions

Like that

Best to miss out on Happy Birthdays! and Congratulations!

Her opportune urban structures and handy landscaping
Afford her a good vantage from which to observe
Everyone’s so casually tossed expletive sticks and stones

She is too sensitive they tell her
But another man’s disparaging pebble
Is veritably atomic within her proximity
Even though it’s supposed to
So easily bounce off the body
All that sing-song rubber and glue

And heaven forbid people disagree on the weather
Because that comes entirely too close to outright hostility
Foggy, no, rainy, no, foggy, no rainy


Only the exceptionally brave
Can afford to have opinions on precipitation
Or opinions in general

She keeps running the numbers
A perpetual cost benefit analysis
But in vain because
The result is always the same

Find safety
Seek shelter
It’s too risky
Too dangerous

All the potential rage and venom in the world
Are entirely too probable
And therefore very much worth hiding from

Not even a frown on a stranger’s face
Just the absence of a smile


Accidentally step off of the middle of the road
Deviate from the most acquiescing and amiable route
By which to painstakingly navigate the day


She hopes that someday
She won’t need trash cans and shrubbery
But will simply be able to hide right behind her own face

And while she is thankful
For the lessons intrinsic to axioms like,
“Duck and cover.”
She does not appreciate easily agitated punctuation

To put it lightly


*image not my own