-Don’t speak- Look around. I am a girl who provides for my six siblings I have 2 jobs paying minimum wageBarely brushing by, i don’t get to have much to show off My bully doesn’t know this;My bully picks at my clothes, my hair, my rough fingernailsThey do not see what i go through to keep my family off the streetsTo buy my mother her alcohol so she doesn’t slap meTo buy just enough food to put on the table at night-Don’t speak- Look around. I am a boy stuck in a girl’s bodyI’ve known this since i was 4 My parents don’t approve and neither does my churchTell me a reason, GodYou put me in this body and then tell me not to speak Don’t cry, you’re weakDon’t laugh, thats gayDon’t show your potential, dreams, loveNo sympathy for the meek They call depression fakeAnxiety is an excuseIf you didn’t have a slip from a doctorOr a noose around your neckThen it wasn’t taken seriously andYou should be in school Sticks and stones may break my bonesBut words will scar my body, voice, and brainThese words swell up inside us like a balloonWe go to school and our bodies become shellsKeep your head downDon’t make eye contact Don’t speak They recognize us by our hair or our clothes And the names flow out of them, each wordSpreading, silencing, suffocating, smothering, stop They tell us there is no toleration for bullyingThen i ask why does it circle us everydayWe take a survey every yearBut does anyone answer it honestly?Does anyone take it seriously?Does anyone take me, a “child” seriously?For being “teased and shoved”“Grow some skin” they tell me“Take a joke” We are all in the current of lifeIndividuals, we are all differentWhy don’t we preach what we are toldAnd accept each other for who we are Suicide is not the changeThe criss cross scars on your arms is not the changeThe bruises, the hate, whether it’s for others or ourselves The change is the bystanderThe innocent bystander standing there watching youWatching you get picked on and not speaking up The change is the schoolThe change is you and meUsThe change is knowledge Don’t speak, Speak up
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