Low

Friday—a day that every kid looks forward to because it is the beginning of the weekend

Most kids are excited because it means they can do whatever they want

They can stay up late and sleep in the next day

Then there are the kids that people forget about

The ones in the back of the classroom whose teachers turn a blind eye

These are the kids whose parents come home every day to see a new shade

Added to their child’s body

A new doctor’s appointment to be made

A new picture on their child’s locker

 

These are the kids whose cries are never heard

Whose wrists are never clean

Whose eyes are never dry

These are the kids that zero tolerance preaches so strongly about

And yet ignores when no one is watching

They think that if they don’t see it, it’s not there

And the families ask "who did this to you?”

But they answer “No one, I bruise easily”

 

A library is a place that most kids dread because it means work and reading

But these kids find sanctuary between the shelves

Because all of their bullies avoid this place

Lockers are not a place for books anymore 

Because the screams of trapped children come from inside

While deaf ears give candy to the tormentors

They claim that they will reach out to these kids

But it seems their arms are not long enough

Because the kids keep falling

And they have nothing to land on

 

Who will catch the art kid whose eyes can still see the easel

No matter how many bruises litter them

Who will support the literature geek whose hands can still turn the pages

No matter how damaged the wrists are

Who will comfort the drama child whose voice still sings beautifully

No matter how raw it is from crying

We mend broken bones with bandaids saying that kids can be cruel

We say that wounds will eventually heal but forget that scars are forever

We walk around with our eyes closed and ignore the cries from the bathroom

And when asked about our policies we smile and say that bullies are not tolerated

 

But bullies aren’t the whole problem here because bullies can be stopped

But who is there to stop them when all the therapists are on vacation

We have shields but we use them to protect our own bodies and leave the kids to their own devices

Because we are afraid of being stabbed ourselves

We show the kids our weapons and then keep them under lock and key

We drop these kids into water without teaching them how to swim

We tell the firefighters to stand down while the schoolhouse burns to the ground

We deactivate the alarms on their houses saying that they’ll be safe

Simply because they have the alarm system installed

 

Parents want to protect their children from the ugliness of the world

So they tell them to close their eyes

But really it is the adults who wear the blindfolds

The average child today sees more blood in their essays than most war veterans see in a lifetime

We tell them to be themselves as we mould them into sculptures

And if pieces break off, we leave them to collect dust telling them they’ll never be beautiful

 

They must learn what we learned so that they can grow up and be just like us

And sleep while another child slips into their old hell

A vicious cycle of learn and relearn, break but never fix, swear but never uphold

We think that if we stare at the page long enough, somehow the words will change

That if we cry about the wounds loudly enough, they will heal themselves

That if we fall far enough, someone will be there to catch us

But who is there to correct the authorities when they enforce the rules

Who can balance the scale when we are feathers and they are gold

 

We are not warriors with armies who demand justice

We’re just little boys and girls who wait for Friday just to get away from the hunting grounds 

Just little kids who hide in the library while everyone is outside playing

Just pens and papers for the big kids to copy from

Just equations that have no solution

Isn’t it ironic how it is always the ones on top who stoop the lowest

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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