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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