Unpretty

Location

 

They say

            “It doesn’t happen here, we’re different.”

 

FLASHBACK TO

A 5th grader on a bus, while they all gossip of the boys  

they’d kissed, they decide to put in order all the prettiest girls.            

Her ‘friend’ turns to her and says:

 

“Yeah, you’re way down that list.”

They say

            “When you’re older no one cares how you dress”

 

CUE SOPHOMORE YEAR FLASHBACK

She walks into class that day ready to speak. Until a girl says in a nasally voice:

 

“You wore that shirt last week.”

 

She clams up.

 

Yeah. That’s because I own it.

 

They say

            “They’re just kids they’re not out to destroy”

To the girl who can’t cut her hair, because they called her a boy

 

And this isn’t some sob story, I actually like who I am.

But I need to use proof, to show the issue at hand.

That you can hurt people in ways you don’t even understand.

And ignoring that won’t make it not happen.

 

And I don’t want you to feel bad for me, that isn’t what I’m saying

I just need you to know the pattern we’re displaying.

 

The pattern where we push down the hurt,

And we believe we’re doing fine.

Until we’re erupting in our English class

For the sake of meter and rhyme.

 

Then we remember our iambic pentameter lines.

 

It starts with that look, that toe to head stare.

And suddenly you feel like you’re shrinking.

Because you’ll never know where you went wrong.

Because you’ll never know what they’re thinking.

 

But that’s all just fine, ‘cause it doesn’t happen around here’

FLASHBACK

 a girl so insecure she wore T-shirts for a year.

 

And then you feel bad because it isn’t their fault.

It’s a mentality put in their heads by adults.

 

That somehow from birth, we’re naturally deficient.

That the person we are just isn’t sufficient.

 

And more: it’s those thoughts that keep you awake in your bed.

That maybe if you were pretty maybe he’d like you instead

 

And that isn’t- I’m over that- that’s not even what I mean.
I’m just saying there’s a lot that all goes unseen.

Like the perpetual rise-up and tear down of that girl’s self esteem.

And you know that’s important, cause I changed the rhyme scheme.  

 

In the world of unpretty, there’s a lot to be learned

Like how to recover, to cope with the burn.

 

The burn you felt when your pretty friends left you behind

When you realized they’d grown up, and were no longer blind.

 

But in the wake of that burn, I can wake up too.

And know that there’s more to me, than what I show you.

 

And if some magic wizard, offered to let me start fresh

Sort of Cinderella-esque, just minus the dress.

To erase all those memories and make me pretty for good.

 

My response?

 

You know what?

Maybe I would. 

This poem is about: 
Me
Guide that inspired this poem: 
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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