v. playground rules sometimes change

       she hated being taunted,
        pressed against the brick wall of the playground’s corner
             they didn’t reach out, they just wanted fun
          “make it change shapes, c’mon then!”
                     they wouldn’t even consider that she was scared

     juice boxes exploded, a dead bird gave a soft caw
         girls ran screaming, boys cackled
              the teachers just shook their heads
   but never said anything when she brought their flowers back
       from the wilting stages of their lives

                      the comeuppance came when she was twenty-five;

      a cemetery, loosely tangled around a willow tree
        watching the tears roll, perverse revenge in her heart
               the last one standing was an old bully
           she could still hear her screaming, “freak!”

                   a tiptoe behind her, silent through the dry grass
               the headstone lay between them, the confused glare still the same
       some things just don’t age, I suppose –

         silence stretched, not willing to broach the history
          so she focused on the departed
                              tendrils of greenery entwined the stone
                          and she choked a cry, before –

                 roses bloomed like the full moon,
              lush grass hugging the turned earth, sprawled like a blanket
                 “welcome back”

      and instead of the memories of the taunting, “you chicken!”
                 bouncing in her head,
          she heard the whispered,
                     “thank you”, instead.

Prompt: Chicken

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