Hanging in There
I am fourteen
And the hunger for rebellion
Sparks within my entire being.
Surrounded by familiar faces
That just look the other way;
Floating through fields of empty promises
That won’t even last a day.
Too young for love,
Too old to play,
And too ordinary to be diverse
from everybody else.
The fear of not being enough
consumes what’s left of my soul almost entirely.
How come people are so bizarre
And we die with every breath we take?
How come sometimes the sky is blue
And sometimes it’s catastrophic?
How come so much can change in a day
And old memories can become nothing
in just a matter of seconds?
How come she’s so much better
And I’m still too ordinary to be diverse
From everybody else?
And godawful life choices
Have become my battle cry.
I could do so much better than this
And everybody loves to remind me.
I want to amend myself,
become someone relevant and purposeful,
But failure is my worst enemy.
I suppose I must learn to fall
Before I learn to fly,
And I guess I’m still too ordinary to be diverse
From everybody else.
A while back, I got inspired by Audre Lorde’s poem ‘Hanging Fire,’ so I decided to recreate it for my English class with sort of the same format, but in a way that portrayed the story of my life and what made up my teenage struggles.
In the original version, Audre has a repeating couple of verses at the end of every stanza that says, “…and momma’s in the bedroom with the door closed.” The emphasis created with the repetition that the author places at the end of every stanza shows the event or thing that impacted Audre the most growing up; in my case, the phrase that I wanted to bring attention to was “..and too ordinary to be diverse from everybody else,” to further highlight my trouble with standing out and being different.
My version might come off as pretty depressing and almost concerning, but I feel like it’s what many teenagers like myself experience nowadays with all the stress and expectation forced upon us. I believe that you guys will enjoy the poem and hopefully, you’ll share it with your friends– or maybe you’ll relate to it and share your own conflicts related to growing up or just life in general.