Define “normal”

Picture this: a group of young people, maybe ages 7 to 17, standing in a crowd. You know them, because you’ve laughed at them, called them names, pranked them, ridiculed them, all in the name of  “fun.” Or maybe you try to “help” them, by changing their accents, their hair, their clothes. Or you try to “save” them by leading them to “The Light.”

Whatever.

Now try listening to what they have to say.

—————————————————

normal

i want to be normal
to be free from the rage
and the emotional battles that leave me
drowning in tears
and wishing for The Reaper to
harvest my soul
i want release
unwind the chain that binds me
to the flashing lights and colors
that signal an attack
on my psych

i want to be normal
to have a name like
Sally
or Sue
live in a real house
with a little picket fence
a dog named Spot
and maybe a brother or 2
where my parents
don’t fight
and throw bottles and chairs
or lock me in closets
because
i’m in the way
where i wasn’t born
crack addicted
and didn’t learn to cook
meth by age 5
or sterilize needles at 7
or be forced to
“earn my keep” as they say
with the uncles that come and go
and call me “pretty lady”
at 12

i can hear the taunting
make it stop

i want to live a life
not covered in silence at night
when i store my ears in a box
next to the bed
where my leg is safe from thieves
and my eye is not made of glass
where my crutches are not hidden
and my chair brakes are not locked
because some idiot thinks it’s funny

i am not amused

so my eyes may be slanted
and all my h’s sound like j’s
and my first name is longer than
all 3 of yours put together

so my hair is green and purple
or nappy or frizzy
or shaved on the sides
i still think i’m pretty

maybe i like girls
or am a boy who likes boys
or i was born the wrong sex
and it doesn’t match my inside

say i worship the sun and the moon
or a dead man on a cross
or there’s a star in a circle on my arm

so what
who cares
just leave me alone

normal
is a dream
i seek while awake

but

i can live with myself
i’m not forcing you to convert
so why
are you forcing me
i don’t eat meat
never have
never will
excuse me for being larger
than size 3

i want to be normal
but maybe i am
and it’s you
who needs
to change

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