Literary Orphans

TEEN SPIRIT: The World is a Wolf Who Wears Sheep’s Clothing by Hannah Lanier

A crawling thing creeps deep inside my wine soaked brain
Anything, anything, I call on it to numb the pain
The pain of knowing. Of knowing that no matter how hard I try I am not her.
I am not an airbrushed, tan skinned, long legged, flat stomached, thigh gap, blonde haired
beauty. I am not.
And the knowledge, it would seep through the flesh of my too plump knees and invade my soul
Sinking deep into parts unbeknownst even to me
And dying every inch of my bloodstream black, a virus.
That tried to control me and despite my frantic fighting, clawing at four white walls it consumed
me.
Until all I could think was “She. Will always be better than me”
And I shook, I shook with fear and with hunger for more than this feeling
But I was stuck
Stuck in a world I thought I could manage but try as I might it took advantage
Of me
Of me with big dreams, with still books to read. Of me with a laugh careless as could be.
Of a girl. A girl who deserved so much more than this obsession. Than this possession by a
world,
That wore innocence as a mask.
Excusing the distribution of camouflaged cyanide, ignoring the fact that each magazine was a
suicide tool.
A tool that turned into thousands of paper thin girls with tubes in their noses saying “I’ll skip
dinner and maybe” We were (are) too young.
Too young to start spinning on this perpetual merry-go-round that started slow but is now
spinning out of con-fucking-trol
And I’m angry that I have to live with black blood laced in my veins because she will always be
better than me.

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Hannah Lanier is a fifteen year old poet from Charleston, South Carolina. She is a member of the SC Young Adult Book Award committee and avid reader. In her free time, she participates in her school drum circle, bee conservation club, and cross country team. Hannah hopes to continue writing in the future, and believes that with some determination and hope, she can.  

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–Art by Magdalena Roeseler