Westside of Harlem/Flower
By Shyanne Spencer
Discussed: mental illness, self-harm, suicidal thoughts
This poem that I share comes from a familiar place that me and other teenagers experience growing up. I remind myself daily of my self-worth, and like others, I can live my best life and pursue my gift. My voice speaks for many as we take our Place in HerStory!
Where a flower grew Where you see people shooting dice I said the west side of Harlem Where babies cry cause Mom didn’t have enough for milk Where you walk out your house and that Gun decides if you live Or get killed As you sit on that bench… think, think For a minute Think about how much time you spent in That house Waiting for your mom to get home You look on the side of you and you see two blunts that’s Been rolled and burnt You see the beer cans And hoping she Doesn’t hit you again I said the west side of Harlem where You see the fresh boys And fly girls Where having the best shoes makes you or learning how to shoot a gun Man I feel like that shit takes you And know that your mom has a Issue with substance abuse Remember your still that flower that Grew on the west side of Harlem CONFUSED Sucking in my tears to breathe The fire that burns in me Angry at the world Because of something I could’ve Did Better or something I could’ve done The ways of the world is unknown My darker days are becoming cold Death is my option Staying alive is not I try to hold back my words and hoping Someone sees this teenage girl who is Crying... crying for help When you see these big scars these embarrassing scars you may understand Why or maybe not You sit there as she speaks jotting down Her thoughts and pills she need to take Or maybe wondering why she cuts with a blade… and as she watches you she wonders if you really understand why she Chooses death or living But who is she kidding The numbness creeps In our veins See me and this girl are the same And we understand that humankind may never understand our pain And you know what… it’s okay HOLDING ON Cry myself to sleep sometimes Cut myself to sleep sometimes Just feelin like i wanna die Feeling empty inside Tryin to be numb and ignore The rejection and depression Holding on to memories that Aren’t what they seem to be, In reality there nightmares And I stare I stare into darkness Hoping for a better life I feel coldness creeping in my veins And it’s makin me go insane Because my heart is beating... Just tryin to hold on
Shyanne Spencer is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Brooklyn, NY.