A poem written for people who are tired of being labeled.
A teacher once called me a sponge.
She said it because I “soak up” facts.
She had pigeon-holed me as smart.
And at the time I was happy and wide-eyed,
Until I realized what the label implied.
It meant I couldn’t slack off,
Take time off.
She was right about me being a sponge.
But not in the way she thought.
I soak up words,
Those things which have hurt me,
Those things which have helped me,
Those things which have damaged me,
Saved me, beat me, exalted me, changed me.
I soak up music,
That thing which has liberated me,
That thing which has teased me,
That thing which has made me,
Talked to me, killed me, survived me, revived me.
I soak up emotions,
Those things which have thrilled me,
Those things which have chilled me,
Those things which have filled me,
Those things which…dammit I am not a sponge!
I am not what you want me to be! I am me!
And I might be a sponge to you!
And I might be a nerd to you!
And I might be a robot to you!
And I might be a prude to you!
But I know that the only thing that matters is who I am to me.
I do soak up things, but only what you have called me.
It has come time to wring me out.
I wash all of your labels out
Like yesterday’s spilled soup.
A daisy is left instead of that sponge,
And no matter what you say I am me,
I am this daisy,
I am surviving,
I am thriving,
I am who and what I want to be.
Now is the time for you to listen.
I may be smart,
And I may be asexual,
And I may be a hippie,
And I may be fat,
And I may be depressed,
And I may be angry,
And I may be a fucking ray of sunshine.
But I am only those things if I say so.
To you, I am no labels because only I can label me.
To you, I am Casey.
To me, I am everything I want to be.