Other kids call me strange
shy, overweight, scared

youngest in the class
distracted by incest and abuse

I speak using big words
apply abstract ideas in

ordinary conversations
scare teachers who

without a smile
without a frown

ignore my raised hand
banishing me to silence

just like mom
just like dad.


JUDY SHEPPS BATTLE has been writing essays and poems long before retiring from being a psychotherapist and sociology professor. She is a New Jersey, USA resident, addictions specialist, consultant and freelance writer. Her poems have been accepted in a variety of publications including Ascent Aspirations; Barnwood Press; Battered Suitcase; Caper Literary Journal; Epiphany Magazine; Joyful; Message in a Bottle Poetry Magazine; Raleigh Review; Rusty Truck; Short, Fast and Deadly; the Tishman Review, and Wilderness House Literary Press.