Sticks and stones –
I suppose there’s only so many times you can nonchalantly shift your weight
between the balls of your feet and blink while antagonists with forked tongues
of concrete and oak are throwing verbs and nouns at your protective bubble
of oxygen and nitrogen, isn’t there?
may break my bones –
I guess there’s also so many times you can close your eyes and count to even numbers
and control what you take into your lungs and what you allow to whisper into your skull
even though your fists are clenching ever tighter and your toes are curling inwards but
you’re still wearing a mask on the outside – right?
but words will never –
A wise person once said that ducks get wet, but they just shake their feathers and it’s okay again
so even though I’m not a duck, I’m imagining plumage sprouting out of the indents in my knees and
elbows, wings unfurling from my back and begging me to just take flight, but instead I’m standing
and dripping, dripping acidic words from brown and cobalt feathers as if they’re nothing.
~Sticks and Stones, by Sarah C
“It’s basically a piece about attempting to overcome things bullies say. I’m 15, nearly 16, I live in the UK, and I’ve been bullied badly for four years, which has left me with anxiety issue.”