Teenage Brain

by Julie Worsham

Empty classroom with chalkboard

(This poem contains sexual abuse and self-harm.)

Man, I don’t wanna go to this class today
The teacher’s always talkin’ bout how I need to apply myself
I guess she don’t understand how badly I want to fade away
Just curl up in my bed, cover my head, and forget I exist
Please don’t call on me to answer questions today
From the minute I woke up everything has been in disarray
There was no hot water for my shower
My phone had less than 10% power
My dog chose my best shoes to devour
And my dad’s condemnation grew louder and LOUDER

Man, I don’t wanna go to this class today
The teacher’s always lookin’ at us with a sly knowin’ grin
She knew we wouldn’t study when she planned this quiz
Maybe if I lower my head, don’t make eye contact, and complain of pain
She’ll have mercy on my forgetful soul and let me take the test another day
My head is too full for my brain to obtain the knowledge she claims is plain
I know.
I know I’m in danger of failing but you don’t understand
I’ve been with my boyfriend for six months and he’s starting to make demands
It’s not that I don’t want to, don’t misunderstand
I’m just afraid of a pregnancy that’s unplanned

Man, I don’t wanna go to this class today
I’ll have to put away my phone
But my best friend’s been blowin’ it up since noon
She’s feeling depressed and she’s home alone
Should I check on her, should I chance a suspension should I go
I don’t know what to do, I don’t know who to tell
Last Year
Last year her weapon of choice was a razorblade
Cut after cut until her tender skin was flayed
No one noticed until their nostrils filled with the scent of decay
But last time I told she felt so betrayed

Man, I don’t wanna go to this class today
I didn’t get any sleep last night
My parents thought I was asleep, but I wasn’t
Their voices raised, filled with hate
It’s not the first time this week I’ve heard them fight
Anger dripping dramatically from every dangerous word
More than once I heard the word divorce
Long gone are the days of blanket forts
It’s nightmares now of lawyers and courts
Child custody agreements enforced

Man, I don’t wanna go to this class today
This boy in my group has wandering eyes and rushing hands
He rubs my leg under the table and
Whispers things meant for adult ears
While I feverishly try to focus on exams and future plans
Ignored when I tell the Mr. Teacher about this boys unwanted attention
He accuses me of asking for it with the lengths of my skirts
As he blatantly glances at the swell of my shirt
How could I possibly expect boys not to flirt

Man, I don’t wanna go to this class today
No one speaks to me, it’s like I’m a leper
I’ve been at this school for almost five years
Not a single person has tried to become my friend
I want to go back to my old school it was so much better
Alone is how I spend each and every night
Writing poetry no one will read until I’m dead
My future filled with loneliness and dread
The story of a girl left unread

Category: Featured, Poetry, SNHU Student