What the Storybooks Got Wrong

When you’re a kid, they tell you a lot of things

They show you stories and prayers and coloring

They always tell you that you can do anything

And that you could be queen of the world


They say “If you believe, you can achieve

When you achieve, you can be

Whatever it is that you see

In your future”


But when you can’t sleep but you can’t stay awake

And your head just always seems to ache

You say that espresso was a huge mistake

But there was a pea under your mattress


Do you tell your friends that it’s nothing

Even though you’ve tried everything

You’ve been huffing and puffing

But not a single piece of straw blows down


And other girls seem pretty happy and bright

They don’t scream or yell or get in fights

You don’t feel like you’re the prettiest sight

But don’t let them call you ugly duckling


You grab your dark clouds and say

Rain rain go away

Come again another day

But they’re already here and it’s pouring


Homework and real work feel like surprise rabbit holes

And your hands are holding onto the controls

But down and down you continue to roll

until this is wonderland?


You feel overwhelmed completely

Even though your effort is that of an underwhelming weakling

To the bean stalks we’ve built ourselves we cling

Who planted these awful seeds anyway?


We are hardly taught about our mental health

It makes us uncomfortable so we tip-toe around the topic in stealth

There was no story of anyone asking for help

Until I told it just now


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