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He always wanted to explain things
But no one cared.
So he drew.
Sometimes he would draw
and it wasn't anything.
He wanted to carve it in stone
or write it in the sky,
and it would be only him and the sky and
the things inside him that needed saying.
It was after that that he drew the picture.
It was a beautiful picture.
He kept it hidden under his pillow
and would let no one see it.
He would look at it every night
and think about it.
When it was dark and his eyes were closed,
he could still see it.
When he started school,
he brought it with him,
not to show anyone,
just to have it along like a friend.
It was funny about school.
He sat at a square, brown desk,
like all the other square, brown desks.
He thought it should be red.
And his room was a square, brown room,
like all the other rooms.
It was tight and close and stiff.
He hated to hold the pencil and chalk,
his arms stiff, his feet flat on the floor.
the teacher watching and waiting.
The teacher came and spoke to him.
She told him to wear a tie
like all the other boys.
He said he didn't like them.
She said it didn't matter.
After that they drew.
He drew all yellow.
It was the way he felt about morning,
and it was beautiful.
The teacher came and smiled at him.
"What's this?" she said, "Why don't you
draw something like Ken's drawing?
Isn't that beautiful?"
After that, his mother bought him a tie,
and he always drew airplanes and rocketships
like everyone else.
And he threw the old picture away.
And when he lay alone looking at the sky,
it was big and blue and all of everything,
but he wasn't anymore.
He was square inside and brown,
and his hands were stiff.
he was like everyone else.
The things that needed saying
didn't need it anymore.
It had stopped pushing.
It was crushed.
Like everything else.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Posted: Aug 2013
About this poem:
written by a sixteen year old before committing suicide

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Comments (5)

socratees When i was 10 i had a friend commit suicide and i feel this is how she felt yet could not say. I thank u for sharing this poem i am fitting with myself about changing. I just can not do it. I have tried, but lost some of me when i did. Everyone keeps telling me to conform, but then i am not me who am i? I just needed this to remind me to be me. Thank so much for u being u.
The not so tacit ways
the life within children
is destroyed

a poignant
sharing socrates,

'The things that needed saying...'
socrates44online now!

Thank you for your comment.
I can imagine it must have been a traumatic experience for you when your 10 year old friend committed suicide. Please keep fighting to maintain your individuality and resist conformity. Perhaps, you are such a prolific poet because you refuse to give in.
socrates44online now!

Thanks for your comment.
This story points to the need for those who deal with such adolescents to be more tactful in their approach.
socrates44online now!
Socialization is the process whereby someone is "conditioned" to be a member of society. The process begins from birth. Parents or guardians are the initial agents of socialization. The process is continued at school through teachers, peer groups and the educational system as a whole. Adolescence is usually the period when the process faces its greatest challenge as most parents and teachers discover. The successful socialization of a person may be achieved at the price of sacrificing certain aspects of that person's individuality that may appear to conflict with the social norms.
This story illustrates such a situation. The fact that he wrote this piece before committing suicide illustrates how deeply his artwork mattered to him. Who knows what may have been the outcome if the teacher and the socialization system handled the system differently by encouraging the artwork instead of discouraging it? He may have been another Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dali. We will never know.
Our own adjhe, a prolific poet, shares the sentiments of the story (see her comment). I invite other CS members, especially those who deal with or have had to deal with such adolescents, or who can identify with his experience, to comment.
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