Be good

Take your nap

Eat your greens

Too many sweets

Makes you sick


Running wild

Making up games

We live without shame

Playing princess

And Power Ranger

And hide-and-seek-tag


“You smell funny!”

All kinds of cooties

Don’t touch them

Don’t catch them

Play it safe


“How are you?”

“I am well.”

Automatic response

‘Cause Mommy said so

“Be nice.”

“Be polite.”

“Alright, go play.”


I am a child

And you are a child

And I like you

Let’s be friends


The world is so big

And sometimes it’s scary

Finding your way

In a world full of giants

But Mommy is here

Holding your hand

Telling you “no.”

Making decisions

Calling the shots


Juice, never soda

Popcorn, no butter

Make it at home

With the electric popper


Play it again

Dancing around

To the end credit music

Of Lilo & Stitch

A master performance

A standing ovation

Invisible audience

Except for my mommy;

She’s in the front row


Daddy’s not here

To see the performance

He didn’t attend

He’s sitting downstairs

Full of despair

Daddy’s unwell today


Over nine years

Eyes full of tears

Finding him smoking

“You lied to me.”



Escaping it all

I sit and draw

I write a story

Of heroes and glory

A boy and a girl

And they are in love

But I’m only nine

So I don’t yet know

What that means

Just what I’ve seen

On my TV screen


Age comes with pain

Sunshine and rain

Till one day you wake

And find yourself grown

Up like a weed

In a strange open field

Called “Adolescence”


Now health is different

It’s a whole new arena

Full of cute boys

And failed makeup attempts

Too much eyeliner

Mom says, “Wear less.”

But now I am twelve

Now I’m a woman

But still I’m not free


Puberty class

“Ew!” to the max

Cooties on steroids

What is a condom?

How does it work?

Now that I’ve asked,

I don’t want to know…


Wandering blind

Treading the line

Between my past

And my unsettling present

Mind is not present

All over the place

Asking strange questions

Who am I?

What does it mean?


Words, so many words

Words unspoken

Bad words

Middle fingers

Scrub your mouth with soap

Can’t stop the changes

Now I’m a grownup

No one can clean up

These dirty words

Each a new secret

Wants to be learned



Constantly wanting

Watching the Notebook

Wanting the romance

Wishing and wanting

To be lost in a moment

When we haven’t got

A moment to spare


Today here we are

Finally driving dad’s car

Behind the wheel

But still we’re not free

Have to return it

And give back the keys


Know history, know self

No history, no self

Who am I?

Nobody knows

Too many labels

Stick on at once

Can hardly keep track

I only need one



Accept me

Respect me

Why should you?

It all starts with me


I accept me

I respect me


My mind is a master

Of so many things

Writing and drawing

Plus I can sing

But never the time

Between math problems and

Projects, tournaments and

Friends, there’s never much time left

For me


And so I sit back

And try to relax

And just take a moment

For me


Remember the times

When we played at lunchtime?

Let go of nowadays

When we spend lunch inside

Scribbling nonsense

Onto a worksheet

Something to pass

For A-quality work

Because there is simply

No time for homework

Except at lunch


Let go of today

Try and loosen your grip

On dreams of tomorrow

Because for right now,

Now’s all you’ve got


Change yourself

Change the world

Change your mind

Change it again

You can decide

Your own state of mind


So long as you love it,

Live it as well

A life full of love

Is the best life to live

Strive, thrive, survive

Live, laugh, love

To be or not to be

Be yourself

Love yourself

Because that is what makes you well.


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