Straight A Girl | Teen Ink

Straight A Girl

May 20, 2014
By Kittengoo GOLD, Sioux City, Iowa
Kittengoo GOLD, Sioux City, Iowa
18 articles 3 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
When life gives you lemons, make orange juice and let life wonder how you did it.

Straight A girl,
Top of the class.
Pastor’s daughter,
Kissing teacher’s a**.
She’s president of the school, smiling from the front row,
With her nose in a book, with her face all aglow.

She’s a straight A girl,
A helping hand.
A classic beauty,
Pianist in the band.
She never causes trouble but she’ll always lend an ear,
Set her work aside, spread out her arms, and tell you, “Sweetie, I’m right here.”

Then straight A girl
Wears lips blood red
The teachers gasp;
She’s filled with dread.
They grab her arm, yank her aside,
“You can’t do that—it’s trashy,” they chide.

Straight A girl,
In a sunflower dress,
Feels confident, pretty,
But how could she guess?
The teachers see her bra strap and they yank her away.
“An open-backed dress? We thought you were better!” they say.

She’s a straight A girl,
She works in the church.
So no one understands
When one day she gets an urge,
Takes clippers to her hair, shaves it off, finally free
And the frizzy locks there on the floor, well, they don’t seem to disagree

As she bleaches her hair
And stains it blue
As she pierces her ears
“Four studs, ma’am, thank you”,
Still an optimistic child, thrilled that she had the guts,
Though still knowing deep inside adults that the adults will call her nuts

Straight A girl,
Principal’s chair.
Tear-studded eyes,
Bright blue hair.
She was still the same person,
All that changed was her looks.
She still aced her SATs,
Still couldn’t live without her books.
Still tutored pre-K kids and then
Each Thursday at 6 o’clock
Set off far downtown to
The Old Folks’ Home to help and talk;
Still turned her essays in on time
Lobbied for her social causes
Tended a garden in her backyard
And yet somehow it gave them pause when

Straight A girl
Pierced her ears
Painted her lips
REFUSED her fears
The teachers made her cover up and wipe the lipstick off
She did so slowly—she’d wanted adventure, and see what THAT had got.

Clothing! Makeup!
The length of your hair!
Immaterial things—
Just things that you wear!
Just pieces of cloth that are labeled “good” or “trash”.
That’s exactly what it is: a made-up choice, used as a trap.

We’re told to watch
Our every reaction,
For somehow it is OUR fault if
Someone else gets distracted.
Everything you may have proved about your soul inside
Apparently is null and gone if, oh God, your HAIR is dyed!

PLEASE, school, please, adults,
People are far more than that.
Don’t make teens choose between
Happiness and an act.
You mean well, that I know; you want our childhoods to be conducive—
AND abusive, AND illusive, smarts and looks mutually exclusive,

INtrusive, OBtrusive, and though ‘ive’ rhymes become elusive,
Some final words from a straight A girl down on her luck:
I’ll decorate me how I want.
Don’t like it?
I don’t give a f*ck.

The author's comments:
Wow this is kind of angry. (I'm not a poet, by the way. This was hard to write for me. I do prose.)

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