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A Child's Poem

Look at me
I can act like an ordinary girl
And portray psychologically-correct traits
That don’t reveal a thing about my past
Or all the potential disorders I keep buried
In the shadowed depths of my mind

Look at me
I should get a gold star sticker
For all the times I’ve obediently
Torn a smile from the corners of my mouth
And vomited out a regurgitated laugh
Just so you can pretend that nothing ever happened

Look at me mommy
I finally learned how to swallow
That bitter pill you call reality
Just like I learned how to swallow
The lumps that form in my throat
Every time I can’t block out the memories

Look at me daddy
I might not be beautiful with or without it
But now I use makeup to cover up
The remnants of the bruises you gave me
That have taken up residence beneath my eyes
In the form of sleepless nights

Look at me
I can blink away tears before they fall
And when I must cry I do so quietly
I can ice over my sorrow and longing
Like frosting on a cake
Until my heart is as sweetly frozen as can be

Just look at me
I can count to ten and tie my shoelaces
And never treat other as I was treated
I can say my abc’s by heart
And choose not to employ fear and anger
As a means to control others

Look at me
I can earn approval from adults like you
Who see me as someone who went through a lot
But is now just fine since I learned from it
So it wasn’t that bad and I should grow up
Why can’t you see…I was just a child






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