Young Seeds Drown

I catch my 10 year old little brother staring down the weighing scale

I guess you can say

That’s he’s a bit...

Broader

Beefier

Fluffier

Er.. who am I kidding

Fatter than most kids his age

 

But he didn’t choose to be this way

His weight, although insignificant to who he is

Is imprinted on him

A scar caused by an accident that was never his fault

 

You see, my brother was premature

He came out with undeveloped lungs and a wrinkly body that could fit in a children’s shoe box

All his life up until 8 years old he was a..

I guess you can say a bit more..

Petite

Fun-sized

Always in the back of the line

And in front of class pictures

 

He could care less of course, he was 8

 

But everyone around him cared

And like gardeners, they singled out the much smaller, weaker looking seedling

Thinking that nothing good can come out of something so undeveloped

So instead of feeding him the brightness of patience

Or the nutrition of encouragement

They fed him criticisms

And insecurity

 

They forced him to increase his appetite

Thinking the more nutrients, the larger the growth

 

And they were right

The results were

Much larger

Much  Much

LARGER

 

My brother could not put an end on the bowls of rice he took during dinner

He acted like Breakfast was an all-you-can-eat buffet

And  Thanksgiving a turkey eating competition

 

And as his caloric intake increased, so did his insecurity.

 

That’s how he ended up 3 years later looking down at the weighing scale

Eyebrows knitted together,  mouth curved down, as he glazed his eyes over the  3 red digits on the screen

 

The critical voices echoing yet again in his ears

Playing as the background music of his childhood

 

My brother checks the scale 20 times a day now

He never takes his shirt off in the swimming pool

Christmases and Birthdays are just another day of rummaging through clothes that are too tight

And being embarrassed of it

He wears large jackets and black clothing for the slight chance that maybe people wouldn’t notice his stomach

 

My brother checks the scale 20 times a day now

And each time he does,

I fear that this young seed will never get to see the sun within him

That this young seed will never see beyond the shell of his physical being

And won’t recognize

The potential and growth still trapped within him

Just waiting to grow

 

My brother checks the scale 20 times a day now

People scorn him for letting himself go

For lacking self-control

For being lazy and sluggish

 

But what they forget is that he never wanted this in the first place

He didn’t care about his lanky size

It was them that had told him that he needed to grow bigger

And when he did, they looked at him with disgust and said that he was growing the wrong way

As if there were ever a right way to

 

My brother checks the scale 20 times a day now

People say that that’s healthy

And it’s good that he’s aware

 

But since when does obsessively checking the scale every hour considered being healthy

Since when does being distressed over your weight in 4th grade considered being healthy

Since when does a 10 years old Googling “how to lose 40 pounds” considered being healthy

 

But I guess We just forget how healthiness goes beyond physicality

 

And when we scorn at why

Why that kid’s wrists are slashed

Why that kid is trying to throw up the french fry they ate at lunch

or

Why that kid is trying to wear a noose for a necklace

 

It is simply because we forget that Young seeds that do not see the sun in themselves,

forget

and drown easily

 

Poetry Slam: 

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