There's a girl in my class at school
and she always wear a smile,
even when teacher gives us homework
that we know will take a while.
She laughs and always seems to have
many friends who're glad to see her.
When I'm feeling miserable,
I wish that I could be her.
Today I found her in the library
crying by herself.
I thought perhaps she'd fallen,
or hit her head upon the shelf,
but she explained she wasn't hurt,
it was anxiety, she said,
it makes her panic, makes her worry,
fills her up with dread.
Her friends all played outside,
no one noticed where she was,
so I sat there with this girl
and she said she cried because
she always felt such pressure
to be the perfect child at school.
But no one's perfect, so I told her,
I mean, it's practically a rule.
We talked until the bell went
and it was time to go back in.
We sat back at our desks,
to wait for teacher to begin.
But my mind kept playing over
and over what I'd learned -
that nobody is perfect and
friendship's sweeter when it's earned.