Mathew with eyes are green as the still swamp. Mathew of the cheap off brand clothes that don't fit quite right. Mathew whose face blends in the halls like a chameleon on a tree. Is a boy in middle school who doesn't always fit in. Walks to the bus stop in the cold crisp morning. Sleeps on the 20 mile, 45 min. bus ride, lonely in his cold hard seat. Works at school all day, for it doesn't come easy for him. Helps the kid that drops his papers in the hall as if they were his. Turns in all his papers on time so he can pass the six weeks.

Mathew stays after school for the long hard football practice. Runs lap after lap in the hot sun. Practices drill after drill. Because he wants to be the best he can be.

Mathew inside the dark tanned skin like a muddy river. Inside the worn out boots. Inside the bad haircut that looks like an untended garden,overgrown and neglected. Is a boy who cares and doesn't just say it. Stays quiet all night. Listens to his parents fighting. Tries not to listen but can't drown it out. Finishes his homework. Goes to bed to start over again in the morning.

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