Forced Into Your Way | Teen Ink

Forced Into Your Way

July 23, 2011
By CourtneyHammett BRONZE, Spartanburg, South Carolina
CourtneyHammett BRONZE, Spartanburg, South Carolina
1 article 7 photos 37 comments

My bones are not my own,
a fact I learned when I was grown.
“You’re special,” they said
to us kids before bed,
and we believed with full intent
that our souls were heaven-sent
because teachers were always right
and mommies knew how to calm at night.
Taught not to question the system,
taught the realm of narcissism,
cuddled in the lies,
and couldn’t realize.
Well, science crept in in adolescence,
taking too long to assert its presence.
Now here’s a shocking revelation
never told by the congregation:
It’s called anatomy
and what you are
is what you see.
My bones are not my own
might just be King Tut’s big toe
can’t find a part of me
that wasn’t part of somebody.
Did you know that atoms recycle?
I never knew anything but the Bible.
School taught me I’m specialer than anybody
Why? Cause God made me, see
No need for questions and all that jazz
I’m happy with all the vague answers the Bible has
I’ve got a bookmark in there and bony fingers in my ear
thinking of perishable things I hold dear,
saying there is no skin or bone
that other people used to own,
saying there’s a soul
and in this chaos, control
saying but you told me so,
realizing how little teachers know,
realizing answers start with me,
in those answers reason should be.
Realizing we are on our own
til those teachers’ minds are grown.
Realizing skin and bones withhold a brain,
which I can’t regard longer with disdain,
because though fragile it may be,
because of it I can see
a vast world, beautiful and frail,
with its science discovered
and with wonders never scaled
See, whoever my bones belonged to had their time,
but forget them, this is mine
and I’m sure whoever owned these atoms
signed their own petitions and sang their own anthems
but none of them had a chance
to take your tuxedoed hand in dance,
and I’m glad they never looked in your eyes,
stole my time and won my prize.
This the world is fine without
the fairy tales I learned about
As scary as most of it is,
I’m honored to say that I’m his.
Yet my personality is all mine,
because honestly I’m just a shrine
to everyone who’s left their mark
carved into me like hearts in tree bark.
They spent so much of our parents’ money and all our time
trying to save us from the facts of life
when really, they’re encouraging
and they only sting
when you spend your whole life thinking it’s forever
and what’s the point of any endeavor?
And science smacks you in the face
cause it was never given its rightful place
and you realize you have less time
to make your mark and love your life.
I’m finally there, but it took years,
of rejecting your teaching and fighting my fears.
It took me to a special place, one I’ll leave someday
but one I’ll hopefully impart on those forced into your way.

The author's comments:
I wrote this as a response to just living here in the South and feeling out of place. I hope people relate.

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