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3.95

if i could write a book on all the things that i’ve seen go sour in the center of my high school

you’d get papercuts from trying to turn all the pages

my voice would become hoarse from trying to read the words aloud

you would tell me to come back tomorrow because i’d be wasting your time

if a high school student slips under the surface and they still have all a’s, do they make a sound?

 

if i could write a book on all the students i’ve seen go sour in the basement classrooms of my high school

i wouldn’t say names

i’d say situations

pregnant homeless depressed destroyed out on the streets no good raped alone spends the evenings counting the cuts on his wrist

hopeless fading no friends no money no future was college bound but burned her own bridges desperate lonely addicted to the things about himself he can no longer control

more often than not you can tell which hand a person writes with by reading their scars

not to say they don’t try

but more often than not their slope is more slippery than anyone can understand their lives are not graded by letters on a computer screen but by how grateful they are to be alive in the morning

 

if i told all this to my teachers

they would understand

in their own way, nodding their heads as if to say they’ve seen it all

and maybe they have, but this fire that’s burning at the heels of these kids that crowd like sheep in the hallways seems alien

i’ve seen more self-destructive faces than in a prison documentary on the way to first period i’ve seen hell in the smile of a friend i’ve seen that fire burning slowly up my hands

if i told all this to my teachers

they would understand

but there are things you cannot say to make them see the whole picture they are trained to see over the heads of those that fall in favor of the ones who can make it out

if a high school student screams in the middle of a hallway, do they make a sound?

 

i have been filling out scholarship applications

i am asked to define myself by the numbers that report back my self worth

grade point average social security family income sat act scores class rank class size they ask you who you are but “1-9 characters only” please try again

i am worth more than these numbers on a 4.0 scale i am more than the 9 digits of my social security i am not 1-9 or a-z i am 100 percent h-u-m-a-n

my access to my future shouldn’t be a safe where i am the dial wasting my time trying to find the right combinations

my eligibility to become something shouldn’t come after a “3-point”

 

if i could write a book on how many times my anxieties have been invalidated in my high school

it would not be in words that i would show how i was affected

but in blank pages

 

five classes and five different workloads five universities in question and 500 scholarships so i can make 5000 to go to a school whose tuition is more than the sum of all these numbers

friendships failing confidence flatlining and uncertainty and terror renaming me atlas, i hope you’ll understand why sometimes i can only say that “it’s hard”

and i just want you to know, even though sometimes i feel like i’m lost in the dry-erase stains on the whiteboard, that i am trying

that even though i do make a sound it’s only too easy for me to fall silent

we are all trying

we are all scared and confused afraid of slipping through the cracks fighting home lives that shrivel and relationships that combust

our demons come knocking and sometimes it’s hard to remember to tell them no

so it becomes your job to remember that our lives and high school are not direct bloodstreams

you can make the separation clean or we’re going to do it ourselves and believe me, it will get messy

we are more than the crumpled up math homework at the bottom of our backpack and the college essay we turned in 2 hours too late, we are not a summation of a presentation that didn’t match your opinion

we are trying

 

if i could write a book, the first line would be that there are 26 letters in the alphabet and A, B, C, and F don’t spell a fucking thing

 

Comments

Vesper94

Wow. What a wonderful poem! Congrats on winning the scholarship. Keep it up.

ACole2014

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! I ABSOLUTELY FELL IN LOVE WITH NOT ONLY YOUR WRITTEN WORDS, BUT THE EMOTION YOU CONVEY WHILE RECITING THEM. THIS IS A GREAT POEM TO EMPOWER THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT THEIR WORTH IS DETERMINED BY THE LETTERS DISPLAYED ON A PIECE OF PAPER. I REALLY ENJOYED READING AND HEARING THIS POEM. GREAT JOB!!!!!!

justina614

This is great!

Camezquita97

This is fantastic.

davey_aries

I don't know how, but you have managed to take every anger and anxiety I have had in school and listed them out one by one, and then gave me catharsis for all of them. Brilliant.

Melody-Muse

This is amazingly on-point. I love how your poem flowed through, but still gave your words character and meaning. Nice job :)

-tarnished-tea-kettle-

I absolutely love when I find the poem with the words just beyond my reach... I feel like for a long time students have tried to find a way to say them, and you have nailed it. Thank you.

lilmula01

wow. this is amazing. All throughout highschool, I managed to get A's and B's by sucking up to teachers and doing my work but no one knew what goes on at home. We all feel like this. She wrote this poem to relate to everyone....and that to me... is really and truly talent. Great job.

gl3165

Completely agree. I've always found that school felt like a mirage for one's pain. For example if you happen to have a meltdown, everyone would come to you wondering with bereavement why you would be crying or showing any sad or depressed emotion. It's as if school is a vacuum for only academically relayed issues.

xfinn

Nice. 

ljnelson3

Honestly beautiful. So much power in this. You're touching the lives of so many with just a short reading of your work. Keep doing stuff like this. You never know who you're going to help. 

And then I'd also like to say that the last sentence is soooo good. It's perfect. I want to use it as my senior quote in highschool- with your name as credit obviously. 

So wonderful and so much emotion in your voice. Thank you so much for sharing. 

Mailayasia Cheyenne Tyler

Awesome Hun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sierrasunrose

thank you so much everyone! it's very exciting to receive compliments on your work, and such heartwarming and kind ones at that. thank you!

robscicles

This is seriously such a great poem, I especially love the last two lines. Awesome job!

kem27

Incredibly powerful and wonderfully moving.  Your insight is a gift

EGriffith1019

That was amazing, you really deserved to win.  Great job!

madirick96

Yes. Love. You understand. This poem truly puts feelings into words. It shows the truth to the world. Thank you, and congradulations. 

LolaNIce

SNAP SNAP SNAP in Z formation. You're killing them, girl. Loved it

mettalica456

Wow... the ending, just wow. My whole attitude towards school explained!

annaliesegecko

Thank you.

lily_a

WOW. That was amazing. You have a fantastic poetry reading voice. You truly got the point across and I wouldn't have been able to read this poem and understand it the way I do now if you didn't read it outloud. Great writing skills. Keep it up! :) 

caitybug98

This is absolutely beautiful. We are more than a letter or a number or a plus and minus. You cannot define a human being with those things. We are all treated like kids but expected to act like adults. We're not even fully developed physically, mentally, or emotionally, and yet we're being forced to make choices that will impact us for the rest of our lives. There is something seriously wrong with that and you captured it with words better than anyone else. I commend you for that. Keep standing up for what you believe in, the world could use a lot more people like you. Job well done.

BrookeHume

This poem is AMAZING and your emotion is flawless in the video! Not to mention that it is extremely accurate! Keep up the great work and congratulations on winning the scholarship! 

joaninator24

Wow! Very powerful and expressive. Great Job!

jennileigh

Wow I was just sitting here reading along while you read and nodding my head in agreement the whole time. 

JimmieriaC8

speechless.. you're amazing!

MarksIncredible

Brilliant. Great job

RedPaintRedRose

I love your style

Black Hammer

This is priceless, keep the good vibes coming!

suzliner

I was literally moving with the words....if that even made sense.

 

Just, wow. Thank you for actually understanding and accurately conveying life.

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