Toughen Up



I came to you when things were bad.

the jokes, the names,

Retard. Fag. Pussy.              

I came to you. My mentor, my leader.

But you walked away.

I just needed to toughen up.


I stopped coming to school.

But they kept on, texts

And tweets and typing,

Worthless. Kill yourself.

Flying in my face, day after day.

Just toughen up.


I cracked.

All you had to do was



But instead—



I think.

Maybe you’ve been here


Wedgies, clothes stolen

From the locker room

Back in the day


I scream.

Why can’t you

Toughen up

For me?

Don’t tell me

“toughen up”


When you’re the same


Puny kid

from back in the day

Only this time

With a college degree.




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