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Shoplifters
Terri Ash

They saw past the shorts and t-shirts, blue hair and chains
Sprawled with colors and messages.
They saw two teenagers, no three
In a 7-11, loitering by the Slurpee machine.
In the back, a well-dressed man goes about his business.

Suddenly, alarms go off,
And the man in the business suit runs out.
Belatedly, the cops follow him
Tearing their gaze from the kids.

The kids line up at the counter, Slurpees in hand.
My treat,” one of them says.
They pay, and walk out the door
Get on their bikes and skateboards,
And ride to the next adventure.

And the man in the suit?
They caught him.
It turns out that he was wanted in three states
For shoplifting.

This was a poem I wrote as part of a poetry unit in English class. Ms. Satter (the most awesome English teacher ever, just trust me on this one) gave each kid in the class a sentence on a piece of paper that you had to then build a poem around. Some kids wrote really shitty stuff, as poems can't really be forced, but some people had brilliant bursts of inspiration.

Me? I was given the statement "They saw past the shorts and t-shirts." Nothing brilliant, nothing inspiring. And so I wrote a poem about being a teenager. Not great, not horrible. But it exists now, as an entity. A poem.

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