1980 was a terrible year.
Maybe it was that we moved that year,
and my new neighbourhood felt heartless.
The girls down the street, I watched them,
and the arrangement of their faces
and the brand of their fashionable shoes
made no sense.
When they smiled,
I wondered what they wanted.
Maybe it was that I had been cast in with little girls,
all of whom were once Other to me.
I was now also Other, uncomfortable,
hidden beneath the patterns
of girlhood gossip and body obsession.
Maybe it was that I suddenly recognized how small I was,
little more than a wrinkle
in what had become a far-reaching geography,
the shifting edges of which changed the shape of things
and made me paranoid.
1980 yawned long and dry and disaffected,
hung out on a flat crescent
that ran on street to drive to road
and on to the country
and on to oblivion
where I rode my little red bike
and remembered belonging.