Unhealthy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By

I think a lot about how
We all grew up
Around unhealthy things
Without ever realizing that they were
Just that:
Unhealthy
My father smells like teriyaki
And cigarettes
So much that the smell of smoke
Became synonymous with, “Daddy’s home.”
Instead of the sound
Of failing lungs in the other room
I guess that’s why
The idea of smoking
Doesn’t terrify me as much
As they all teach me it should
And honestly, neither does
That trail of silver smoke behind us
For as long as I could remember
I’ve painted my nails
and danced with my uncles at parties
with a particular scent
so much that I can say that I’m familiar
with the smell of alcohol
I guess that’s why
The idea of drinking
Doesn’t scare me as much
As I’ve been taught it should
And how honestly, neither does
That last sip before the buzz
I didn’t have Barbie dolls growing up,
But I still saw “beautiful dolls”
On TV and in books and advertisements
And in a community where tiny was average
Because smaller
Meant prettier
I guess that’s why
the sight of protruding bones
doesn’t daunt me as much
as everyone else said it should
and neither do
the scars on my knuckles
I think a lot about how
we all grow up
around unhealthy things
and now I think about
how unhealthy
I’ve become

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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jl637This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 24 at 5:36 pm
really nice poem!
 
skemattThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 18 at 9:10 pm
A very powerful poem! Sometimes we really should look around us and self-reflect
 
maclay17 said...
Aug. 5 at 2:23 am
I grew up around these same type of problems and I am so inspired by this poem. It is truly beautiful and real.
 
SmilesForTheCamera said...
Mar. 19 at 1:48 pm
I've been privileged in the sense I've had two emotionally stable-ish (I guess?) parents and lived in a primarily rich, white, privileged neighbourhood, but I'm sure many young boys and girls can relate to what you're saying right now. Reading this just made me a bit more aware of the issues other people face, and that I should never take all I have for granted. Thank you. Just... thank you
 
AditiVibgyor said...
Mar. 4 at 1:26 am
Beautiful.....you have written this so well , I mean people usually don't realize that but we are so used to of it ....well 'Great job'
 
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