Ball State University
United States

Why is it that today 

we teach our children patience

by complaining that our computers don't work

as fast as 100 miles a minute?


We tell our daughters 

the only way she's accepted

is if she leaves the house,

every morning,

with her face painted.


We tell our sons

that the only way he'll be respected

is if he wears a mask

and pretends nothing affects him.


Has the carbon dioxide in the atmoshpere made the air heavier?

It seems as if all we do

is walk around with our necks bent, our heads down

staring at our feet like something new is going to appear there.


What happened to smiling at strangers?

Now, bare teeth grins 

elicit wary looks 

and "What the hell do you want?" gazes.


On the internet,

we have no problems stating our emotions,

People tie them to balloons, let them go

While watching them bounce against a white ceiling.


Hashtags and likes and friends (that aren't really your friends let's be honest),

#MancrushMonday, #throwbackThursday, #SelfieSunday,

Instagram, facebook, twitter, tumblr

all of these mean on thing: say cheese, you are happy.


Pictures of people smiling,

filter the color from your life.

We mustn't fret the real stuff,

the fake is what makes us.


We're supposed to experience everything,

at the speed of a hummingbird's heartbeat.

but we're never intended to reveal,

or feel, anything remotely




Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

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