Vernacular

People say we fear what we don’t know

And I was scared of big words.

Scared they made me look stupid.

See, I thought big words were for people

Who thought they were better than everyone,

And I was having confidence issues,

So I thought I didn’t deserve them.

I’ve been using words with no more than three syllables

Because anything over three syllables,

Meant I was trying to be something I’m not.

But then I spoke with a woman on the train.

I will never forget it.

We were having a smart talk about school

And how the system is failing us.

She told me it was obfustrating how

School dehumanizes and objectifies students

Forcing us to systematically learn the same,

Which supressess our individuality.

After she said that, she told me she appreciated my  intellect.

And that not many people my age  had that.

Then she got off the train.

When the doors closed, I felt my vocabulary shift

See, I went from scared to daunted.

A bigger word with the same number of syllables,

But it’s progress.

The lady spoke a language I didn’t know,

Yet congratulated me for understanding.

I felt stupid.

I felt like I let both her and myself down.

Had she said “school is turning us into robots

So students can’t be themselves,”

I would have understood perfectly,

But she used words that made my skin crawl

Because I never felt worthy Enough

To learn their meaning.

Since then, I picked up two ideas;

One: School trains me to be smart first then creative.

Two: From now on, I will stick my head in every book I can get my hands on.

I will start using words like voluminous and elephantine,

Instead of big.

I became logophile,

Using sesquipedalian words to feel smart.

I was no longer daunted.

I became gratified.

Obsessed with circumlocution,

I became unencumbered and unparalleled.

People hated me.

Hate that I use perplexing words

That both befuddle and discombulate them

But I’ve come too far to regress.

Nor will I stupefy myself for you to get my message.

See, I’ve been practicing my words,

So the next time I see that lady on the train,

And we engage in an intellectual conversation,

I will tell her,

“The atrocity that we call an education system

Is exasperating,

But I’m amenable to deviate topics if you’d like.”

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Guide that inspired this poem: 
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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