My Grandfather Said This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

February 7, 2016

My grandfather said,
“Who wants to get older,
but what’s the alternative?”
as a joke one day.
And so now every day,
every day that I get older
(or something bad happens)
what’s the alternative?
My grandfather said,
“Kids are basically jerks”
and life is moving past that
and he was right.
When I babysit
and the boy throws food
and tells me to watch my tone …
moving past that.
My grandfather said,
“The difference between the right and the wise
is the wise are not only right
but possible.”
So now I try to pick the side
not that’s right,
the side that’s wise –
that’s possible.
My grandfather said,
“The elephant in the room
with Billy Elliot
is that he was gay.”
And so when I feel
my elephant is growing too big
I address it.
I’m gay.
I’m gay I’m gay I’m gay
I’m gay
it’s like if I say it enough
it will lose its meaning
like
love
love
love
love
But like the word love
it doesn’t lose its truth
I’m still gay, unfortunately.
And while I continue to dislike that
how can I possibly love another
who’s also – gay.
So I try to paint pictures
with my words.
Design an escape.
I’m a princess
and the fluffy clouds
break up the blue of the sky.
The grass tickles my feet:
green and earthy.
The sweet scent of the flowers.
And for a moment
that’s enough.
After all,
my grandfather always said,
“You don’t have to be good,
just good enough.”

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

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the May 2016 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.






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