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How she was made to feel cheap

Updated on August 9, 2013

Cheap and Worthless

Hair pulled back

Tied up in a halfway kept ponytail

Pen and pencil tucked inside the band

The room is hot

The others even hotter

This room has no AC

Not that she would feel any cooler

The heat is on her

In a way she has never experienced

Nothing she does seems to be right

People she has just met

Seem determined to see her fail

She is the red-headed stepchild

The one whose family tossed her aside

Just walked in for her first day

Fighting back tears

Missing her home

Wishing she could return

To the place where she learned

Longing to belong

Where she once belonged

Hating to pretend

She is grateful when




A knowing smile…for perhaps they remember…

What it was like for them

When they had to walk in

As the new kid

The new kid


She tries her best

To be the one

That will pass their tests

After awhile

New kid sees

There is no room

For a new kid

In such an ancient sea

New kid


Awakes before dawn

Tries to look her best

Project just the right tone

Newbie quickly learns

No matter what she does

There’s no way to pass a test

Where the test-givers

Refuse to give her a rest

Neophyte now

When once well-respected

No longer able to make it through the day

To many tears

Flooding the maze

No longer lonely

Just incredibly afraid

Of what she will face

What she will endure

For she will always

Be the new kid

In this world

A long ways from home

She will always

Be the one

So easy to blame

She is not a member

Of the in crowd gang

Thus she will try

Try over again

Having made it through

The first year…

But quickly she will find

The first year meant nothing

In this place where she resides

The in crowd

Does not give up

That easily

Now the new kid

Feels so old

Feels like she has

Been beaten

No longer real

Years of trying

Gone away

Just like that

For it was one day

When she no longer

Feels she has what it takes

To be of any worth

Just a burden now

So it made

The new kid

Throw it all away


Now the in crowd

Never saw what they did

Never understood

How cruel their actions had been

They just continue on

Doing what they do

Breaking down those

Not of their kind

Not of their ways…

One day

They may see

What it feels like

To be a new kid

To not have the warmth

Of where they have been

Perhaps then

And only then

They will understand

Just how they killed

The new kid

Over and over

And over again



“Cheap is How I Feel” by Cowboy Junkies



Have you ever been made to feel as though you were an outsider?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago


      I always enjoy your visits. This is one of the few I feel is halfway decent. I am glad you read it and realized the "haunting" element I was after.



    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      5 years ago from Taos, NM

      Such a haunting poem, Kim. It is hard always being the 'new kid on the block'. It is so sad what we do to one another and those that are 'vulnerable.' Life and "friends" can be so cruel. You express this so well in this poem. I always enjoy reading your poetry.

    • ocfireflies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from North Carolina


      Your kindness is so appreciated. Just recently, our local middle school lost a student who from all reports took her life because of bullying. And you are so right, most of us can relate to bullying in some form. Thanks for votes and your ongoing support.

      Sending warmth your way,


    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Kim, sorry it's taken me so long to find this wonderful gem, but better late then never. It is so sad, but the problem very common and unfortunately almost endemic in our Western culture. I can relate to it, as can many others. Bullying in all it's forms is wrong. Another great hub my friend. Voted everywhere.

    • ocfireflies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from North Carolina


      So sorry you have been there, for I know what an impact it can make on one's life. Thank you for the up and share. I appreciate it very much.

      Sending Lots of Warmth To YOU My Friend,


    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Sure been there...Love the last picture! up and sharing.

    • ocfireflies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from North Carolina




      Thank you so much for your kind comments and for stopping by. Very much appreciated.


      I believe many of us identify which is so sad. Thank you for kind words.

      Best to all of you and wishing a wonderful day in your particular neighborhoods!


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I identify all too well! Very expressive and perceptive. ~Lurana

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      You have captured the feelings of being on the outside perfectly. It is hard to try and fit in when the crowd doesn't want to accept you.

      Very well expressed.

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 

      5 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Has google perfected the art of giving a wonderful woman a tender kiss through the computer yet? ;) If so, can you let me know, because there is one going to waste, right now.

      I love you, my friend; you're amazing.

      Kind Regards,


    • ocfireflies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from North Carolina


      This response is just one of the reasons I am such a big fan. You have a kindness not so often seen. I can't tell you how much your response means to me. I, like you, tried/try very hard to make others feel welcome.

      Thank you my friend for your support, but more than anything,

      Thank YOU for being YOU!


    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 

      5 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Hi Kim!

      Being judged by imperfect standards, especially a kid from another kid, can but only make them feel 'cheap' as you've so accurately described, and captured the mood of.I remember being a kid, sat next to the newbies at school trying to make them feel welcome when their fellow classmates looked down on them because they were fat, or poor, had red hair or didn't wear the right clothes, or just too intelligent for the rest of their contemporaries; it can make, or break their confidence, and if not helped or dealt with can plague them into later life with these falsely reinforced and entrenched issues of self-worth being propogated. It's bullying, plain and simple. Lifting the weaker from the quagmire from other people's crap should be borne by parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and teachers, if they make the time.

      Really well expressed verse, and sharing.

      Have a wonderful remainder of the weekend!

      Warmest Regards,


    • ocfireflies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from North Carolina


      Hey! Thanks for stopping by. Yes. It is hard to know what others may be experiencing on the inside. Wishing you a great weekend.


    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      It is so very hard to be on the outside looking in.

    • ocfireflies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from North Carolina


      You are absolutely correct. Adults can make other adults feel really bad about themselves, too.


      You know how they say "time heals all wounds?" I am with you. I think some scars never heal no matter how much time goes by. I am touched that my words touched you.

      And, by the way, just in case I have not mentioned it: I APPRECIATE YOU! You were the first person to comment on one my little hubs. That means a lot.

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend my friend,


    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 

      5 years ago from Reno NV

      I have a problem with being quiet and introverted and having difficulty in social situations. I felt your words deeply and I am glad you shared them, some of those scars never heal. Jamie

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      It is not only kids that feel that way some adult are treated that way if they have a boss or some one above them who who like to show their power they can make people feel very bad, I have had it happen to me. I love the way you have explain it .Acopy should be sent to every principal of every school.

    • ocfireflies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from North Carolina

      Theater girl,

      Always glad to meet another "Cowboys Junkies" junkie. Thank you for your support and vote. I really do appreciate it.


      Per always, I appreciate it when you visit and leave kind words.


      Those who are really outgoing do not always understand those of us who have a shy side. I am just sorry you had to face sadness at home as well. Thank you for your vote.


      Thank you for reading. I appreciate the visit and for calling my poem, "nice piece of writing."


      Yes. Those of us who have ever been in the classroom often see it happening before anyone else. Thank you for describing my attempt to capture it "beautifully."


      I am such a sensitive soul, and I predict you are as well, for I, like you can never understand why others feel compelled to cause others pain.

      Thanks for describing my poem as "beautifully done."


      I have for the most part also always been outsider. There never seemed to be a group that I really fit in. I can say, however, I have found the support here on HP to be awesome and so uplifting. I know you have lots of folks following you--so maybe you are not as much an outsider as may think.. You can always as long as you would like be a member of any group I am a part of. Thanks for sharing.


      Thank you for feeling the essence of the poem and for the vote/share. I have a feeling you would have been like me in school: the one who tried to make those who were being treated poorly feel better. Always blessings to you my dear friend.


      Often our biggest enemy is indeed one's self. Thank you for describing my poem as a "Good write!" Somehow it is difficult for me to picture sweet you as an egotist at any age.


      To sign on and have all of these comments at one time...well, it was just wonderful. Hoping all of you have a wonderful day where you feel loved and part of the greatest circle: the circle of love.


    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Good write! (Even though I have been an egotist since the 7th grade.) My biggest enemy was me.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Your writing does paint the vivid picture of that lonely outcast child ... what a sad feeling indeed.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • James-wolve profile image

      Tijani Achamlal 

      5 years ago from Morocco

      I'm in nobody's circle, I've always been an outsider :)

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      5 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      There are so many ways to break and destroy the soul, but only love and kindness can heal. I can never understand why some people find pleasure in causing pain.

      Great poem beautifully done.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've seen it so many times as a teacher when a new student enters a can indeed be hopeless and sad. You captured it beautifully in your poem.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      5 years ago from Norfolk

      I feel for that kid, Perhaps we all go through a period of feeling just like that! Nice piece of writing, thanks for sharing.

    • Sparklea profile image


      5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Very well written, I could feel the pain of the 'new kid' throughout. I was so shy when growing up, and I had some bad experiences in school - it's worse at home though.

      You expressed deep feelings in an excellent, profound way. Voted up.

      Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • cleaner3 profile image


      5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      written very well .. great ..

    • Theater girl profile image


      5 years ago from New Jersey

      So happy to have read this! And I love the song that you included! Cowboy junkies are a long time favorite!

      You captured the hopeless, helpless feeling of not fitting in very well! Voted up!


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