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Hear What I'm Not Saying
Jessica, Age 14, Chicago, IL

Please hear what I'm not saying,
And don't judge by what you see.
For the person you see standing here
Is the opposite of me.

You may think of me as tough
And that I look proud and strong,
But if you dug deep enough,
You'd find that this is wrong.

Deep inside, I'm really
Weak and very small.
I hide behind this mask of lies.
I'm really nothing at all.

If it weren't for this convenient disguise
Of concealment and torturous lies
I would have no one in whom to confide,
And you’d see me as I am on the inside:
Frightened, alone, afraid of change,
Held prisoner in this terrible cage,
Which I myself have erected for me
Because I'm afraid of humanity.

Doomed to live, but sentenced to die,
I long to be buried under my own lies.
For I am nothing, and nothing is me.
And I must live like this for eternity.

If I ventured out but utter little,
Everyone would insult and belittle
Until I am dragged down to their level,
their self-esteem rising, while mine is doomed to Hell.

So please hear what I'm not saying,
And don't judge by what you see,
Because the reason why I hide
Is so you will be safe from me.

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