Listen

Do you hear him?

 

The boy in the back of the room with his head turned and eyes out the window.

The one who always wears the same shoes and

tap-tap-taps his feet to an unheard rhythm.

Uncaring of the words you're speaking or the lesson you're trying to teach

because he never makes a good grade anyway.

You see the boredom in his eyes,

but do you hear his soul screaming for attention?

Craving for someone to acknowledge his existence

and help to manage his undiagnosed ADD.

 

Do you hear her?

 

The girl sitting behind you on the bus who always seems

to be flirting with a different guy everyday.

The one who got caught hooking up with the quarterback behind the bleachers.

You talk about her lack of clothing and joke about the STD's she must have.

You judge her character by her reputation, but you don't hear the inner-child

begging for the love she never received to replace the beatings she didn't deserved.

Striving to be treated with respect by catering to boys unwilling to respect her.

 

Do you hear him?

 

The guy who always skips class to smoke weed

behind the school cafeteria with his friends and lives in detention.

The one who got suspended for cursing out a teacher last week

and decided to drop out the same day.

Deaf to the advice given to him, but listening to the promises of failure.

You see the anger raging inside of him,

but do you hear the lost young man asking for directions?

The young man who lost his way when he lost his parents

and found salvation in the easy money and "respect" he earned in the streets?

Yearning for a nurturing hand to guide him away from the destructive road

he is now hell-bent on traveling.

 

Do you hear them?

 

Or, better yet,

 

 Are you listening?

 

We're so focused on actions and outwards appearances

rather than real emotions and true intentions.

 

Society uses reverse psychology.

 

"Be who you are and you'll love yourself."

But don't be too different and try not to stand out

because you can't really love yourself

if you don't look like that model and wear those clothes.

 

"Don't judge a book by it's cover."

But if it's not a pretty cover, don't read the book.

 

We've been taught to learn what is and what isn't acceptable

and how to distinguish between the two.

To make decisions based on physical appearances.

To chose beauty over substance and never look beyond the surface.

 

But me?

 

I listen.

 

And I write.

 

I write for those deemed outcast and failures -

the people who slipped through the cracks of society

and into the pit of wasted living.

I write to show the flaws in a world reaching for perfection

and to revel in the diversity of man.

I write for the unheard voices and untold stories.

I write for those unwittingly succumbing

to the constricting confines of society.

I write to be able to change the world one person at a time.

To reach through the words on a page or the text on a screen

and touch the heart of one - just one - person and make a difference.

 

I write to be heard.

 

Guide that inspired this poem: 

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you live to write

you write to live

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