She got on the bus, a long skirt and sweater hanging open. Her hair was tied in two braids that hung down over her petite shoulders. She looks straight down, viewing the floor through slightly oversized specs. Walking down the aisle, her sweater catches on a pole and swings open, revealing subtle curves. She's beautiful but she doesn't know it. Her posture is directed inwards, and it looks as though if she could she would fold her shoulders inward and close up like the book she places her face into the moment she sits down. In her eyes and posture I can see school-age jeers, the damage childhood can cause to self-image. Beauty lost to the world by the ignorance of youth. Part of me screams. I want to go over there, to gently lift her chin and look her in the eyes, to tell her that despite the rejection, the insults, and what other people may have said, that she is beautiful, and let her see the truth of it in my eyes. To do my part to heal the damage so evident in her mannerisms. But she is too shy, and the bus is crowded. The possibility of misinterpretations abound. Instead I just look, silent, hoping that someday, someone in a more appropriate circumstance can show her the truth.