Shadows and Ghosts


The things I see in me aren’t pretty; they’re not things I like to see

I wear hoodies because I’m insecure

And I can’t forget what they said in middle school.

I listen to angry music because it makes the anger around me seems less novel

And like it doesn’t mean the world is ending.

I write on the desks and doodle on my papers because it distracts me

And keeps at bay the urge to claw out my mind.

I do my homework because I’ve been told it’s important

And the busy work needs to be done if I want to “do” anything with my life.

I make sure to make good grades because I hear what they say

And the arguments that happen when my sister fails seem to be motivation enough.

I don’t talk to everybody because the things they say anger me

And I dont need more anger here.

I want to help the world because I know it needs the help

And I’ve been told one person can make all the difference.

But I’m terrified of the future because I feel so helpless

And I see that often 1000 people smarter than me can’t do it, so why should I be any different?

I write these things because they scare me

And putting onto paper the shadows I see in the mirror helps make the reflection less real.


But that’s not all; I will not ignore what makes me happy.

I wear tank tops because I’m proud of my arms

And I know I’ve earned these muscles.

I listen to classical music because I love the sound of the bow across the strings

And when the trumpet calls high and clear, I feel powerful.

I put my art where others can see it because maybe it’ll help them

And if I can help someone else, maybe I’m not so helpless myself.

I still smile when I make good grades because I know I’m smart

And it feels good when a superior acknowledges that.

I talk to some people because I know they love me

And even if they anger me sometimes, the mutual benefit outweighs the occasional hurt.

I still dream about the changing the world because the impossible happens

And just because I’m scared doesn’t mean I should give up.

I write these things because they empower me

And putting onto paper the ghosts I see in the mirror helps make them all the more real.


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