Just Because (an ongoing poem updated yearly)

At age 6 the world is full of adventure and

fun and you can make friends just because

you have a Barbie Jeep and Daddy's

always proud of you and one day you're going to be the 

first person on Mars


At age 8 you learn that being the new kid is a 

scary thing and just because you can get a perfect score

on the standardized tests doesn't mean 

that you'll make friends and one day you're going to be a 

doctor because then Daddy would be proud of you


At age 10 you learn that the smart kids are

the outsiders and you're one of them and

friends don't come easy just because you can draw

a horse and got an A in social studies without ever going to a 

single class and one day you'll be an artist and Daddy would be so 

proud of you


At age 11 you learn that you're supposed to make

fun of the weird kids and that if you have a 

chipped tooth nobody will want to be friends with

you and the teacher might forget your name on the

class t-shirt just because you were sick that day and

just because you have a friend doesn't mean she won't

hurt you and one day you'll be popular

and then somebody would be proud of you


At age 12 you learn way too early that the world is

cruel and you won't get accepted by alot of people 

just because you're a girl and your best friend stops

eating because when you've got a pokey belly nobody will ever

love you and one day you'll change the world so the 

whole world would be proud of you


At age 13 you take the scissors and the 

knives to your wrist because maybe there you'll find that

happiness that everybody has and just because you can

fake a smile doesn't mean you'll have friends and

just because you care doesn't mean that they will and

one day you'll be happy like everybody else because then

someone might be proud of you


At age 14 you hate yourself and your best friend gets called a

whore and just because a boy calls you

pretty doesn't mean you'll believe it and one day you'll

cut deeper than you ever have and then you'll be

so so proud of yourself


At age 15 you learn that nobody is happy

and you take that loneliness away with

hurtful words carved into your wrist with a razor-sharp paintbrush

and your bones have cuts etched into them and the 

scars remind you of how much you don't belong

and the pills and bottles call out your name for

eternal happiness and Daddy hasn't been proud of you

since elementary school and just because you can make friends

doesn't mean you can keep them and one day you'll be

dead and you'll be so goddamn proud of yourself


At age 17 you learn that just because you stop hurting yourself

doesn't mean you won't be haunted by the memories

doesn't mean life gets easier and

just because you don't eat

doesn't mean people will think that you're pretty

and just because you're in love

doesn't mean you stop crying at night

Daddy's proud of you but you'll never be

proud of yourself because you've got

countless reminders on your body of your past and

just because the scars have faded

doesn't mean you don't see them when you close your 

eyes and just because you're happier doesn't mean

anybody else ever will be and

one day you'll be okay and then maybe

maybe you'll be proud of yourself


At age 18 you are on the slow, painful road to

recovery and on the fast track to addiction

fueled by alcoholic nights and drug-filled days

you know it's bad for you but it does the trick

you haven't hurt yourself since you started drinking 

so you must be doing something right and 

just because hangovers are a daily routine

doesn't mean anything when you realize

I'M STILL ALIVE and that is one of the 

biggest, best surprises and the hardest

fight of your life.


This poem is about: 
My family
My community


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