There are no monsters in the closet--
Because the fangs of friends have yet to be sharpened
School is a land of heroes and misfits
Battling through learning
But every fairytale has a villain.
We’re told to grow up to succeed
Since the age of three
Without a sense of who to be
Except for the fact that the biggest sin is mediocrity.
Before you’ve had time to grow wary of what lurks in the dark
You think you’re the one to escape the mark.
By age nine you’ve never
stepped out of line
Restricting art to its box and
Math to the answer because there’s
No time for creativity
In the search for ultimate productivity.
The first time someone says you’ll never make a mistake
Is when there’s something in the corner of your eye
Just barely out of sight
Like the answer that is barely out of reach
Waiting for you to mess up,
Slip down the rabbit hole
Unraveling your perfections because
The only thing
Madder than the hatter
Is how you thought your friends would
Simply to cling as moths to the light of another’s brilliance
All because of one mistake.
After age 10 you realize how
Monsters were never made for children
The creatures of the night
Weren’t meant for an instant of fright
But rather to feed off your insecurities
Because there is not enough light to drive out the shadows of your mind.
Suddenly the monster loses its growl
Leaving you able to dust off your confidence
In order to survive a few years
Where self-appreciation overshadows the impulse to spread
Hating how you’ll never be free
Of the fear of comparability
Because how can you say the dark has no more sway
When you turn on the lights
Before walking down the hallway?
Soon enough High School becomes
A magnifying glass for all the worst parts of you
Problems never considered through
The eyes of a three year old
Appear as the newest companions
In this journey of doubt and disappointment
I tell my friends how their bodies are worthy
Of devotion not revulsion
To stop taking their pulse with a knife
Yet mine is poised at my mind
A flick of the wrist
Or a single thing I might have missed
And I’m no longer one of a kind
Another soul to claim how
Imperfection is perfection
Never quite believing but needing
Some form of defense against
The death sentence that has become of
Meeting expectation but
Not quite exceeding.
When did mediocrity become such a crime?
We crucify ourselves for not being
Better than him or her
Allowing comparison to become one of our first words
The feeling of inadequacy knows us better than we know ourselves.
Our self worth is deemed by a false sense of superiority
For what would happen if everyone was a prodigy?
No skill would be worthy of attention because
Everyone would be as common as a weed
Replanting the seed of competition
Because we were raised to succeed
We were raised to be better
We were raised to stand out
We were raised to speak louder
But not to shout
We were raised to seek victory
But never experience failure
I was raised to fear
The monster in the closet
Because that monster