Brooke Thompson ~ Slam Poem ~ Johnson ~ April 16, 2014

Walk through the whisper-lined corridors
And you'll see the bold word
Pressed into the oblivious holder's back

Receiving this word is not determined
By your accomplishments
No one cares if you won the science fair,
The championship,
The key to the city,
No, they only pay mind to your mistakes
No matter how hard you try to forget them
They'll always haunt you

These words that are thrown at us
Constantly adjust according to which
Set of eyes are watching
They gaze as we carry throughout our days,
Take note of our displays
And the sounds that slip from our lips
You could stand perfectly still
And hold your breath like a good dream
And a word could be shot into your back
Like a titanium bullet
And there it hangs with a python grip
Its magnetic field attracting similar people
While repelling opposites who are pushed back
as you pass
It makes our dry lips crave
The taste of freedom

But the trick is to learn
How to reach over your shoulder
And wrap your fingers around its letters
Feel its edges and corners between your fingertips
Then strip it from your back
Crumple it securely in your palm
And throw it into the trash
Because you should never let a word,
Forced upon you by others,
Define who you are

First picture: "Stop the bullying now!" by Paul Kenneth Soliman

Second picture: "Bullying" by Daniel Alvito

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