Have you ever wished for an inside glimpse of the mind of a teenager? Just a little bit of understanding? If you haven’t, you’ve probably never lived with one because they can be hard to figure out. My daughter Allie offered to let me publish a poem she wrote and I jumped at the chance for her to share it with me. I think it’s more timely and important than ever after seeing this post from one of my favorite authors. To read more from this author, check out Stolen Jesus and Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. Here’s what my daughter had to say.
tangled in my tightrope
dwindling on the brink
the person who I used to be
drowned in thick black ink
running through the circus
the thoughts that fill my head
the lion untamed, memories made now fill that head with dread
tears in my tights
left from overworked nights
tears in my eyes
left for makeup to disguise
the only real juggling here is that of my fear or my happiness
hollowed out, i’m just a shell for them to manipulate
i’m only here to sell tickets they count them off 500 per show
i look happy on the outside but will they ever know?
the dark secrets behind my show
the cage for the tiger
the spark before the lighter
the reason there’s a net
the fact that we’re in debt
the burning blisters from my shoes
that either way, i lose
i’m a puppet on their strings tangled in my tightrope
dwindling on the brink
the person who i used to be
simply gone in a blink
I asked Allie if the poem should stand alone or include some explanation. She said that teenagers feel the pressure from society to be perfect and it’s horrifying. At 14 she already feels like she is being manipulated by the world’s beauty ideals. She wrote this to express some of how she truly feels. She wanted to give voice to those who choose not to talk about it.
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This is beautifully written!
Thank you, Jennifer. I shared this with my daughter and it encouraged her.
Martha J Orlando says
Tell Allie that this poem absolutely blew me away, and I’m a published author! Encourage her to keep writing because she certainly has a gift for it.
Blessings, Lauren, and thanks for sharing this precious poem!
Thank you so much, Martha! Allie enjoyed hearing your praise.
Aryn The Libraryan 📚 says
Wow! Allie, you captured this so well!
I never understood teenagers in general, even when I was one. But the feelings (and fact behind) this poem is very real.
Thank you, Aryn. I have passed your kind words on to her.
Tammy L Kennington says
Wow! Allies is a gifted writer like her mama! The imagery is incredible. Being a teenager in today’s world is so difficult.
Thank you for the compliments. Passing them on to my daughter. It will mean so much.
Well done! If I recall, I started getting past that feeling when I was about 35.
I’m 45 and still not there! Thanks for weighing in, Michelle.
Wow! What a beautifully written and POWERFUL poem. Please thank her for allowing you to share with us! I can only imagine how tough it is as a teenager these days. It was a time that always came with its challenges, but the pressure that social media puts on these developing young adults has to feel crushing. She’s lucky to have you to steady and support her, and I know you must feel so lucky to have her, too.
Thank you for such kind words, Jen. Being a teen and parenting a teen in our current culture is not for the faint of heart.
That was very good! passing it along to our 19 year old #anythinggoes
~ linda says
Dear Allie, I just read your poem. I am 71 now, yet in reading these beautiful and poignant words, my youth raced to the forefront of my memory. I really was a teen once!!…I recall feeling alone yet surrounded, sad yet outwardly happy, rejected yet loved. Oh my! Many emotions racing forth, Allie. I wrote poems as a teenager to express myself. I journal now less poetically but I still write. It truly helps and you have encouraged me to write even more poetically now. In these emotional days, sweet girl, remember Who created you and how much He loves you. I am in a huge transition of life myself. I lost my husband of 25 years to cancer just one year ago. So in a strange way, I am feeling vulnerable and changing even now. Draw near to the Lord and He will draw near to you. I love what you have written, sad that it is so true, and proud that you were willing to share it with us each and all. Caring through Christ, ~ linda
Linda, I will share all of this with Allie. Thank you so much for talking the time to write to her.
Maree Dee says
Allie – This is a fabulous post. Thank you, Lauren, for sharing it. It gives us a glimpse into the heart of a teenager. I am so glad you shared it on Grace & Truth. I will be sharing it. Blessings, Maree
Thank you, Maree. I will share your kind encouragement with my girl.
Patsy Burnette says
Beautiful! I remember how confusing it was to navigate the teen years. It can be so very, very painful and lonely, and that was before this whole social media game. I just can’t imagine trying that again, now, with all that added pressure. Bless your heart!
Open communications Lauren. Keep an open door of conversation going with your daughter. Keep her interested in God’s Word. Let her see Him working in your life and hers. Let her see you trusting Him. The bond of your relationship with her during these years in so important, but not nearly as important as the bond of her relationship with the Savior.
We have a Praying Proverbs Over Your Child post you may want to check out. Prayers for you and your daughter! Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!
I already printed off and am using that proverbs post, Patsy! Thank you for the encouragement and the sweet words I will share with my girl.
Rebecca Jones says
Please tell Allie, her poem is great, she expresses herself very well. I think God’s circus is better, He’s the best ringmaster, He keeps a lot in the air for me. Mary K. Hill, teaches classes for teen writers, you might want to contact her at LMM.
Thanks for the class referral and for the compliments I will pass on to my daughter.
Enda Sheppard says
Such a tough time … such a complicated time … and yet so full of possibility. WEll done your daughter.
Thank you, Enda. I will pass this on to her.
Sarah Geringer says
Excellent poem–Allie has your writing skills, Lauren!
Thank you, Sarah. I will pass along the compliment.
What a fantastic wordsmith for such a young age. I can remember feeling just like her at that age. #ABloggingGoodTime
I will pass along your kind compliment to her. Thank you.
Dee | Grammy's Grid says
Thanks so much for linking up at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 39!
Thank you for hosting, Dee.
Felicia Stout says
Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for reading, Felicia.
Touching poem. Allie is a gifted writer! Thanks for sharing it with us. And thanks for linking up with us at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 39
Thank you, Sylvia. I will pass your kind compliment on to my daughter.
Amazing! Your daughter has talent no doubt about it, I can see why you would be so proud to share it, and also proud as a mother that she has such a mature insight. It is so sad how teens are made to feel, my daughter just turned fifteen and her best friend is struggling with an eating disorder she will be fifteen in August. It is heartbreaking. Well done Allie xx and thank you for sharing with #AbloggingGoodtIme
Oh how tragic to be struggling with an eating disorder so young. Thank you for sharing.
Dee | Grammy's Grid says
Congrats! Your post is FEATURED at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 40! Party starts tonight, July 3, 2019 at 9:00 PM Central.
Thank you so much, Dee!