by Hiya Chowdhury, Age 14, India
THAT’S NOT ME THERE
I looked into the mirror
In my umpteenth outfit.
It was a full length mirror; it focused on flaws,
And I was stupid enough to see them.
See that girl with the devilish grin, standing beside me,
Dressed in red, dressed in malicious taunts:
“Your thighs are huge, those legs are ugly,
The hair looks unkempt, the shoes don’t match,
The little pudge here and the flab there
Are disgusting altogether. You should be ashamed!”
I try not to listen. I close my ears. I scream as loud as I can
But I know no one can hear me except the girl
Who feeds off it, like a parasite of thoughts
Eating through my mind, corrupting it, knowing I’ll submit.
So I walk out the door, with keys in my hands
And hopelessness in my eyes, and I look at the better looking girls.
“What don’t they have?” I ask myself.
The girl just laughs. She walks alongside.
I walk into the party, the music is deafening,
I wish to lose myself in it.
But the girl wakes me up.
My friends approach me, happy as always.
I plaster a smile on my face
But I begin to laugh and I begin to enjoy
Because I realize that those who love never judge.
Unlike parasites of the mind
Who make you believe in wrong and untruth,
Who limit you and label you.
And the worst part?
They are a side of you, a figment of your own thoughts.
Because the truth is, and the girl never knew,
That there’s fat and skinny, and curvy and bony,
But then there’s me.
Slowly, but steadily,
She fades into the fluorescent lights.
Hiya writes: “I am out to look for the many lands of words that are yet to be discovered. This poem highlights the need for us to step out of the labels we assign ourselves to and to love ourselves, just as we are.”