he's just a kid

November 19, 2016
By Anonymous

I am sixteen years old
A stranger grasps my wrist tightly
Walks me over to meet his family
They say he is special needs
I smile and nod politely
But even now my arm feels dirty
So I hold it away from the rest of my body
Wash my hands frequently
But I can’t keep off the invisible filth

I am fourteen years old
An acquaintance hugs me in the halls
Holds on more than a little too long
A shiver runs down my spine
He stays in the class of kids with mental disabilities
I keep a great distance between him and me
My intuition is the grime stuck beneath my skin
And I do not ever feel clean

I am ten years old
A cousin wants me to play
But this game is much too strange
I don’t understand
There is a quiver in my hands
He stays far away
But I can feel his eyes
They say ignorance is bliss
But not when it comes to this


He’s just a kid everyone says
But so was I
And the emotional scars left behind
Are ones that will only dull over time and last a lifetime
At least now i know my body is mine
And i can say no
All of this, the shame i carry the slowly recovering memories
I keep to myself for fear of being seen as a drama queen.
After all of this time
They will be on his side
Because there is something wrong with his mind
What they don’t see is because of this
So is mine

The author's comments:

I recently recovered a memory that made me think that people can do damage at any age and mental state and that "he's just a kid" is no reason to dismiss the scars they leave on other people.

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