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Young Seeds

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I catch my 10 year old little brother staring down the weighing scale
I guess you can say
That’s he’s a bit...
Broader
Beefier
Fluffier
Er.. who am I kidding
Fatter than most kids his age

But he didn’t choose to be this way
His weight, although insignificant to who he is
Is imprinted on him
A scar caused by an accident that was never his fault

You see, my brother was premature
He came out with undeveloped lungs and a wrinkly body that could fit in a children’s shoe box
All his life up until 8 years old he was a..
I guess you can say a bit more..
Petite
Fun-sized
Always in the back of the line
And in front of class pictures


He could care less of course, he was 8

But everyone around him cared
And like gardeners, they singled out the much smaller, weaker looking seedling
Thinking that nothing good can come out of something so undeveloped
So instead of feeding him the brightness of patience
Or the nutrition of encouragement
They fed him criticisms
And insecurity

They forced him to increase his appetite
Thinking the more nutrients, the larger the growth

And they were right
The results were
Much larger
Much  Much
LARGER

My brother could not put an end on the bowls of rice he took during dinner
He acted like Breakfast was an all-you-can-eat buffet
And  Thanksgiving a turkey eating competition

And as his caloric intake increased, so did his insecurity.

That’s how he ended up 3 years later looking down at the weighing scale
Eyebrows knitted together,  mouth curved down, as he glazed his eyes over the  3 red digits on the screen

The critical voices echoing yet again in his ears
Playing as the background music of his childhood

My brother checks the scale 20 times a day now
He never takes his shirt off in the swimming pool
Christmases and Birthdays are just another day of rummaging through clothes that are too tight
And being embarrassed of it
He wears large jackets and black clothing for the slight chance that maybe people wouldn’t notice his stomach


My brother checks the scale 20 times a day now
And each time he does,
I fear that this young seed will never get to see the sun within him
That this young seed will never see beyond the shell of his physical being
And won’t recognize
The potential and growth still trapped within him
Just waiting to grow

My brother checks the scale 20 times a day now
People scorn him for letting himself go
For lacking self-control
For being lazy and sluggish

But what they forget is that he never wanted this in the first place
He didn’t care about his lanky size
It was them that had told him that he needed to grow bigger
And when he did, they looked at him with disgust and said that he was growing the wrong way
As if there were ever a right way to

My brother checks the scale 20 times a day now
People say that that’s healthy
And it’s good that he’s aware

But since when does obsessively checking the scale every hour considered being healthy
Since when does being distressed over your weight in 4th grade considered being healthy
Since when does a 10 years old Googling “how to lose 40 pounds” considered being healthy

But I guess We just forget how healthiness goes beyond physicality

And when we scorn at why
Why that kid’s wrists are slashed
Why that kid is trying to throw up the french fry they ate at lunch
or
Why that kid is trying to wear a noose for a necklace

It is simply because we forget that Young seeds that do not see the sun in themselves, forget and drown easily






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