Prize Poetry

You Don't Know Me

by a young man, age 13

You see that I laugh.
You see that I smile.
But you don’t know me.

You would know me if you knew the smile was merely held up by strings.
You knew how hard it was to smile away while everyone I loved saw me as a glass sheet.
You knew how I feel sometimes that my fairy tale ending will never end happily ever after.
You knew how it burned my heart to watch him tear himself thin with her.

You see that I falter in my little reflection, and the cracks show.
You see that I sometimes can't even hold my head, since the weight of the world is weighing me down.
But you don’t know me.

You would know me if you filled your shoes with nails.
You knew how I walked through a maze of bullets.
You knew how I fought a war because of my sexuality.
You knew how I don't dare wear my heart on my sleeve, in fear of it being open to attack.
But you can't say you know me, because you don't.

[Author Statement: "I came across Pongo thanks to a class project. I had already used poetry as a way to express emotions I feel, be it love or sadness. I feel that poetry is a powerful, passive way to heal."]

Other "Honorable Mention" Recipients, July 2013
Letter After a Time
Lessons of Courage and Fear