Heard, Not Seen

by Alison Stanton, age 13
Heard, Not Seen Alison Stanton is a 13-year-old girl from a tiny town in Maryland. She is very passionate about lots of things. She’s won two other poetry contests, both where she got her poem included in a poetry anthology, one in 5th grade, the other in 6th. She is obsessed with musicals, Harry Potter, and color coordinating her bookshelf.

“Frustration embodied / By monsters that fly from lips / That have seen many years. / Or, sometimes fairies that don’t fly.”

   

Frustration embodied

By monsters that fly from lips

That have seen many years.

Or, sometimes fairies that don’t fly.

Like when a man chats up my father,

Yet when I speak, doesn’t say a word back.

Like when I’m told that I wouldn’t understand something.

I’ve gone through things far darker

Than piles of bills or a fender bender.

I’ve doubted my worth and swum through black oceans

But, yeah, I wouldn’t understand a conversation about politics.

I’m “too young” to know about that thing that happened.

Yes, my body has only been around in this form for twelve years.

But my mind has endured so much more than a 12-year-old should.

My mind is not a twelve-year-old.

People whose minds are twelve spend their days worrying

About makeup, social statuses, and baseball.

I worry about why I was put here on Earth

If I’m good enough or deserve to do things.

I ponder things the racist man at the dog park

Has never even known could be pondered.

And, yet, he thinks I’m not even worth speaking to.

Children are more than things who vomit and cry.

They have feelings, and they feel them much stronger than

Any adult.

And this world is teaching them that they aren’t even worth being spoken to.

I wonder, do all the adults complain so much

Because they’ve closed themselves off from the joy only a child can bring?

 

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