This happened in fifth grade

when Alyson told Riana she couldn't be a cheerleader

some stupid girl fight.

Then, all through lunch,

Riana was silent

and about to cry.

(Wasn't she always oversensitive.)

And then she complained to you, calling Alyson



and a bunch of fifth grade insults.

And you couldn't do anything

not even join the name-calling.

Because Alyson was your friend.

You were helpless—

thank god it all resolved the next day.

Now, in middle school

that feeling of helplessness is back

and it's brought friends:



Hannah was talking to Fiona

(who happened to be bisexual)

and Fiona called her "too straight."

And Hannah took offense

and they've been angry for three weeks.

You'd usually roll your eyes and scoff about it to Addie (and you do)

but Hannah's your friend.

(In a way.)

And Fiona—

well, you don't exactly like her but you won't be mean to her either.

You tried talking to Fiona, when Hannah complained

but it backfired, making everything worse

because apparently, Fiona called Hannah "too straight" because she was going on and on about her crush.

And that is annoying.

So you're left standing there


stuck in the middle,

unable to do anything for one side or the other.

And you finally snap and yell at them—

"I don't want to be involved in this. Fight all you wish, but leave me the hell alone."

—in gym class, by the jump ropes.

(how old do they think you are?)

And Marianne comes up to you—

"Little girl,"

—and you shut out the rest of her words because




(Nothing you could do, anyway, just standing there