They Taught Me

They taught me that I’m pretty.
But
I shouldn’t talk,
because nobody will listen.
I shouldn’t try hard,
because nobody will care.
I shouldn’t cry,
because nobody will see.
They didn’t know I was witty.

They taught me that I’m beautiful.
So
I lied to them,
because nobody wanted to hear the truth.
I cried for them,
because nobody doubted me that way.
I faked myself for them,
because nobody wanted a little boy.
They didn’t know I was inscrutable.

They taught me that I’m delicate.
And
I climbed on trees,
for I am wild.
I ran through the forest,
for I am uncontrollable.
I cut my wrist,
for I am trying to escape.
They didn’t know I was trying to survive.

They taught me that I’m wrong.
But
I’m not the rain that nurtures the flowers,
but the storm that keeps the air alive.
I’m not a candle in the wind,
but the lightning that dances with the thunder.
I’m not the fragile girl they wanted to see in pretty dresses,
but the boy who was never allowed to exist.
But he does.
He did all along.

-s.n.

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