High School Is Hard

High school is hard.

Hell, humanity is hard.

Supposed to be happy, unscarred

Little bundles of perfect wrapping

Sapping our strength to smile

As we hunch over, tapping out

Our little tabloid tableaus,

Even as we know

It's just for show.

Expectations, from mom, dad, teacher, pastor, coach, friend

This task-master, ever asking for a mask

And switch faster as they pass

Hide the glass shards of our craft

Crafting this fearful facade,

This step-in-time pantomime

That’s no one else's fault but mine

Designed to ensnare the mind

I only assume it's blind leading blind

As I try to see

Mankind in motion

Grasping at the notions

Of love and devotion

As I walk through the campus

Passing near faces I know I know

But feeling only fear

Though I know to say hello is not a show

I say all this


I’m afraid of you.

Because I’m afraid

I’ll say something wrong.

So I hide behind whistles and song

Because I’m afraid

you’ll see my mask slip.

As it chips away every day

Because I’m afraid

I’m not good enough.


Every smile

Every word is a victory

Despite the trips and tics in me

Constantly invading me,

I'm breaking free

Learning to smile and talk and sing independently

Learning who it is that is me

Learning to be.