Guilt

I’m going to tell you a story

Of a teenage girl,

Who, 

Like many others her age,

Follows the same routine

Every single day.

School.

Work.

Homework.

Repeat.

Sometimes, but not always,

Sleep proceeds homework.

She starts off her day

By making sure her sister,

Older than she,

Is up.

She remains quiet at school,

Not wanting to poke

The bear we call

Social hierarchy.

She’s expected to know

All of the answers.

A scene is made

If she’s wrong,

But if she’s right,

It’s an

Of course, she knew that

In the same

Tone and manner where

Someone would exclaim

The interjection “Duh!”

So instead,

She remains quiet,

But takes the blame

When nobody speaks up.

She’s the youngest employee

At her work.

And perhaps it’s because of this that she receives

Unnecessary blame.

Charged with something

She didn’t do.

But she still must remain quiet

Even though the voice 

Inside her head

Is ten times louder than the voice 

That blamed her.

Even though she wants to shout

“It’s not my fault

That someone who has more experience driving 

Hit your side mirror,

But I just seem like the most likely 

Suspect.”

Or:

“It’s not my fault that

You come to work 

After having a bit

Too much sleep

And you can’t remember

Where you put your tips.”
And even after these long days where

She’s forced to

Keep to herself,

But take in all of the blame,
She still goes home,

Listens to her sister

Endlessly complain about work,

Waiting for a break

So she can go up to her room,

And begin

The voyage

Into the list of never-ending homework.

Often times,

Her sister comes in and questions her,

Wondering why she spends so much time alone,

Asking how she can go

So long

Without human interaction.

“You’re not very 

Normal

For a teenager.”

Why?

Is it because she puts effort into her

Academic life 

Instead of her

Social life?

Is it because she refuses to give in to

Herself

And instead gives in to

Everyone else?

Accepting blame,

Claiming she’s guilty

Of something she didn’t do.

The truth is,

All teens experience this,

All in a different way.

We all want to whisper the phrase

I’m sorry

But we don’t know why.

We’ve repeated the phrase

I’m sorry

So many times

That we’ve desensitized it so much that

It’s as valuable as the penny

You say is lucky,

At the bottom of your pocket.

We’ve begun to believe that by saying this phrase,

Maybe we are to blame.

Maybe we’ll just grow up believing that everything is our fault.

Maybe everything will be our fault.

Maybe everything is our fault.

We’ll never know

Will we?

We’ll just live our lives

Building up a surplus of guilt.

I’m here to tell you a story

Of a teenage girl,

Who,

Like many others her age,

Is being weighed down by false blame.

And this delusion is what makes her

Stand in front of you today.

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community
My country
Our world

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