Is Anyone Listening?
Another teen killed himself today…do you hear the crying?
It isn’t from his family, wondering what else could have been done?
It isn’t from the so-called left wing, mourning the lost voice of change.
It isn’t from the so called right, crying out that a deviance was the murderer.
He didn’t make it home tonight, said the 11pm news.
His body was lying in the morgue, friends and family shocked,
We didn’t know we never knew, what led to this, what could we do?
We were too busy living to notice that he held his life away from view.
Do you hear the crying? It’s not from him.
It’s just, he isn’t the only one dying.
In the time it took for me to ask you, do you hear the crying?
A girl has joined him on the line. Do you hear it now?
They hold hands, and in that time
another boy is placing his hand on their shoulders in a hug,
and a girl sits in front of them, playing with the grass at their feet
until another pair of jean-clad legs comes into the scene.
Do you hear them? Do you hear them laugh?
Do you turn your eyes away, unsure of the difference between
the shame and the guilt you don’t understand you feel? Can you admit the fear?
Are you afraid that by the time this prose is through, another teen will be on the feature?
The crying isn’t for what is gone,
the crying is because we all got too lost in the living
that we forgot what it meant to have a life.
As clichéd as it is, from the mouths of babes seems right.
But the crying is too hard for the message to be conveyed,
the gunshot wound too fresh, the rope still frayed,
pills lay forgotten on the ground, next to a stained blade
You are too caught in the image to see the lies
Do you know the statistics? It isn’t what they meant,
Do you know the studies? It isn’t what they meant,
Do you know the counseling sessions? It isn’t what they meant,
Do you know the ‘I’m sorry’s?’ It isn’t what they meant.
The world is too broken for the band aid you are giving
To stem the tears, no your solutions will never hold.
100 kids are standing now, next to 100 more,
next to you, next to me, they are standing, don’t dare cry
Don’t you hear it?
He asks a simple question, do you understand?
We’ve become too wrapped up in living,
to remember what it meant to have a life
Did you hear me when I didn’t ask why?
I won’t ask him, I know the answer
I once stood by him,
I was the girl who took his hand
The tears weren’t for him; they were gifts from him,
when I learned the difference between shame and guilt,
an emotion I no longer feel, just sadness, for you.
Do you realize now? Why they had to die?
Because it was time. It was time that you didn’t realize
Had run out in between the don’t do its and the whys?
Because he understood that we stopped having a life,
when we became consumed with the living.
When the what became more important than the who,
when broken movie screens were what taught I love you,
When hatred replaced trying to get to know you.
When we let ourselves believe the morals from church because of Sunday.
I’ve screamed no for so long I forgot the yes, until I met him,
and I stared into his eyes as he smiled and apologized for letting me go
because I had something to show, he did his part, I want you to know
I loved him the second he nodded his head towards the door.
Is anyone listening? Or am I being too obtuse?
Guess it’s hard to swallow when you are told you are the cause,
but he smiled at me, that is all it took, he just knew.
How okay it was, not to be okay, what it truly meant to walk away.
How it wasn’t wrong for him to leave this way.
So he left me behind this thing to say.
I’m okay, I’m okay, the crying isn’t for me, it’s for you
it’s from the world you have let decay.
Is anyone listening anymore?
Are we too afraid these days?
To say what is truly in our hearts?
or are you going to wait to see if like him,
you will let me walk away?