“Choosing Sides”

It does something to not be chosen,
to wait in a still room, patiently silent and without a ringing,
to be Rapunzel without a climbing lover and with slow growing hair,
her tower seeming taller everyday.

Where to look with your eyes, what to do with your hands
when that most uncomfortable of moments forces you to stand
in that place: that place where sides and teams are meticulously selected.

(luck of luck) You are best friends with one of the team captains.
But they know your skills and how you can’t run fast or throw.
They know that you’ll continue to be their friend, in spite of the snubbing.
They know that you would do the same if you were in their place
and that you will understand their not choosing.

So here,
today,
this phone is quiet yet I’m afraid to leave its side. (just in case I stay nearby)
I’m on the playground again with all those faces looking back at me:
faces whose names were called.  Peers who walked over and joined the line
because they were desired and picked, because they could throw or catch.

Don’t judge me.
If you haven’t ever been that last one standing,
if you haven’t felt the feeling
of knowing that the team you are on had to take you,
that you were the last, that you were at best a default,
well then you don’t know my heart today.
You don’t know this place of shame. 
You don’t know what it truly means to be asked and wanted.