The Fence


In my senior year, I took my final high school English class.

Advanced compostion. 

We were told in this packet in the mail a week before school started that we'd read a lot

And write a lot.

And we'd write a self narrative about a "defining trait or belief" 

And we'd have to figure out where it came from.

Now I moved into a small ass town from Detroit

As soon as I got comfortable with my graduating class

I skipped a grade.

So here I am, barely sixteen

Can't drive, and hasn't grown since I was tweleve

Is in a room full of seventeen, almost eighteen year olds

Who allllll grew up together.


And on the first day, we were handed brown sheets of construction paper.

We were told to draw a fence.

I wanted mine to be barbed wire because that's how I feel


But I made a picket fence.

And on the back, we were told to write all the things that are holding us back

All the things that scare us

All the things that keep us from figuring out what made us

And I wrote this, and I was glad I made a picket fence because I needed the space.

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of relapse
  • Fear of being alone
  • Fear of dying
  • anxiety
  • doubt
  • Hurting
  • imperfection
  • Fear of nothingness
  • Fear of being wrong 
  • Fear of being lovedd
  • Depression
  • afraid of mistakes
  • Feark of getting old

So I went through the semester, writing about resilience. 

I wrote about my mom, trudging through the hard times as a single mother 

And raising two amazing kids.'

I wrote about my first love who molested me time and time again

So much, I can't look at people who remind me of him

And I cry when I smell his colonge.

And I wrote about my suicide attempt and getting better.

Deciding I was worth it.

I wrote about everything in that class.

Today is the day before the final exam.

I read my introduction, an event, and my conclusion from my narrative.

I read about being molested.

Everyone clapped, loudly. 

They were engaged in what I said.

I don't think I would've done it without my anxiety medication

But I did it.

Today, took our fences off the board.

I sat down and looked at mine.

I got to read all those fears over again, laugh at a few now.

I sat down and checked off which ones I've over come

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of relapse
  • Fear of being alone
  • Fear of dying
  • anxiety
  • doubt
  • Hurting
  • imperfection
  • Fear of nothingness
  • Fear of being wrong
  • Fear of being loved
  • Depression
  • afraid of mistakes
  • Fear of getting old.

I am still afraid of being alone, although it is less and less likely to happen.

Of course I'm afraid of dying, my life is so beautiful now.

I have doubts now, sure. They creep up on me, smack me in the face, and leave.

But that's it.

That's all that's keeping me from me.

Don't stop writing.

It gets better.

This poem is about: 


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741