Earn your stripes

Loud,                                   annoying
proud,                                  snobby
in charge                             bossy.
 
Others tell me who I am perceived to be- but not how I really am.
 
Halls of students, in arrested development, the minds of children.
We should have outgrown these harsh words and whispered not-quite truths years ago.
 
Mature,                               dull
politically correct,                 stuck up
outgoing.                              in your face
 
 
For an 18 year old girl to be confident?
               Unheard of.
               Ridiculous.
                A joke.
 
To want intelligent conversation instead of drunken flirtation? At my age?
               Pretentious. 
               Nose in the air.
               Loser.
 
Energetic,                            exhausting
bubbly,                                vapid
smart                                  show-off.
 
For an 18 year old to want more than her age allows her...
               Inconceivable.
               Impossible.
               Never. 
 
Hold her back, keep her down, for she 
is not allowed to reach beyond. She must pay her dues,
bide her time,
earn her stripes.
 
Then.
And only then.
Can she be free of others' voices
minds and 
whispers.
 
Once she has completed the years of torment, 
depression,
and 
pettiness.
 
Then she has earned the right to be herself,
                              the freedom to pull back the curtain. 

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