By Cecilly Stokes

As part of Bainbridge Youth Services’ This I Know writing project, Cecilly Stokes wrote this ballad earlier this year during 6th grade at Hyla Middle School. She originally intended it to be sung to Mazurka in A minor by Chopin. It was published in the Bainbridge Review Aug. 30, 2020

The Ballad of the In-Between

I’m off to

middle school with

out the safety

of the 5th grade hall

… Slamming locker

Where is drama?

He’s on’ da table

‘citin’ Hamlet

Oh, huzzah!

So many …

Kids obsessed with

vict’ry dances

Now, they’re dabbing!

What’s the deal with Fortnite?

Catching my breath

Looking around

feels like

“Lost in Space”!

Trip’d into

teasing tyrants’

tasteless taunts

slipping notes in hair

Gossip girls and

Boist’rous boys

turn their backs, then

murmurs in the classroom.

Pencil snatching

Shoves and pushes

Why can’t we just

get along?

It gets worse!!!

Creepy chanting

Being ship’d off

When will this all end?

Keep my mouth shut

Look away and

pull my hood up

Drowning in my dark thoughts

Find a corner

Take a deep breath

Let my mind

op’n up

Then found a …

Ping Pong table

Gagaball pit

Then I made friends

felt the same way

Snow ball fights and

playing sardines

Piles of pizza

Gutt’rs of ice cream

Understanding

eager teachers

took the time to

make us laugh

Clouds dispersing

sunlight broke free

forgot’n sorrow

no regrets

So I thought, but

there it goes a-

gain, the horror!

pointless competition

Tasteless taunts and

snarky comments

just to push ahead

But I have

good new friends who

watch my back and

stand in my defense

Th’state of in be-

tween the good and

bad we all feel

So I realize we’re all

twitchy tweeners

In between, yet

such is life in

middle school!

Cecilly Stokes