Dark phases of womanhood
lost. Nowhere to go. Tryna fulfill my dreams
of becoming a woman before a teen.
Half-notes scattered,
distraught laughter falling
over me like I’m a clown.
But more like a puppet being controlled by the streets.
It’s funny, it’s hysterical
how society looks at me as a criminal.
Don’t tell nobody. Don’t
tell a soul.

This must be the spook house
where I can’t turn off the light because the boogeyman
will come out.
Lyrics, no voices.
Just a shadow, a brother who never said a word.
Unseen performance
because what is done is swept under the rug.

Don’t tell nobody, don’t tell a soul.
My earplugs are in to block the discriminations.
I can’t hear anything
but my inner thoughts
& the soft strains of death
death of reality.

You promised me.

Ashlee Buckingham
Age 17, Grade 12
DreamYard Project
Silver Key

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