She hobbled into class today

On crutches, giving a small sigh,

Sinking into her chair – just behind me.

With the usual smile, I turn

And greet her, then – a pause –

I see the crutches.

"What happened?"

"My game yesterday." She offers

No further explanation,

So I don't prod her.

The teacher looks up and asks if she's all right –

"You look a little..."

Tapping her pen twice against her temple,

Giving my friend an inquisitive look.

I turn back to my friend

In time to see almost-tears

Ready to gather in her eyes.

A shaky smile, and a nod:

The teacher understands exactly and nods too.

A whole conversation –

Without any words at all –

Exchanged in the smallest of seconds.

The teacher invites our class to

Quiet down and pull out our writing books,

and then I write this poem.