Straight from the Heart: Teenagers “tell it like it is”



Tilt the halo over my head

I don’t care what the caution tape read

It’s time to get a little dangerous

Let’s fall in love.

Forget the scriptures, forget the past

Conscience and common sense never last

It’s time to get a little curious

Let’s fall in love.



Rachel,  age 15




“A Broken Snow Globe”



There’s never been an excuse for ignorance.

Just flags and fags and burning bridges,

just lots of ancient skulls.  I sat in my room,

aching as deeply as the warrior

whose heart had been pierced by an enemy’s spear

in his father’s hand.


I liked thinking that every one of the tears,

on its saltwater sojourn down my face,

contained a little universe born of rage.

Wishful thinking;  just protein.


I remember wondering at how strange it was that

my father who’s always assured me

that the world would turn its back on me

sooner than he,

would rather me be a murderer than

a lover of my own gender.


And it wouldn’t be so bad, if he didn’t claim to love me

“no matter what”.  I cried for him, and I will

again.   The worst thing is my father’s love is a burden;  he’s

become a cold crutch to me, a necessary evil,

something to be waited out;  but

my father isn’t a storm.

He’s the angry tide against my weakening sands,

the frustration that threatens riot over reason,

and I’m worried.   I’m worried for him,

and that his last words may be a curse.


I pace, and think of the knives in his heart

from my first true kiss…

whenever it may be.



Mehron, age 15




“Hello, Love”



Hello, my old “friend”,

Been a while since

You were here last.

I know why you’ve come,

And I’ll ask you to leave me.

I know you’re a delusion,

Conjured by a fickle one.

Who knows not what

She wants.

You light me up falsely,

Butterflies I haven’t felt

Since a November years ago.

Warping me,

Like I’m drunk, lying

In those leaves again,

Asking for you,

Assured I really want you.

“Well,”  I’ll say to you now,

“You’ve whirled me around enough,

I’ll sit this one out,

too dizzy.”



Michael,  age 17






Young boys who fall in love


Want to love you

‘til the sun burns out.

They live in the days

Of knights and princesses,

Gently taking your hand

And leading you

To the shining castle

That holds their young hearts,

Give you every key to every door,


they’ll gaze with intent

upon every precious

step you take,

and hold your head

against a warm chest

so you can mesh

with every beat.

Then they’ll

Run with you

Out to the lawn

Run their fingers

Through your hair

Brush your forehead

With soft lips

Beneath the starry sky

While whispering

Of sugar-coated tomorrows –

Orange-sherbet sunsets,

Purest white picket fences,

And crystal-clear oceans

With shells of undented texture.

But young boys who fall in love

One day

See that same sky


Now with

Broken innocence

Pushing everything they’ve ever felt

Into the shadows

Of lost souls long forgotten

And then

They change all the locks.



Crystal,  age 14




“The Perfect Guy”



He gives me flowers,

Rings and notes,

Jewellery, makeup,

Other things.

I return the favours;

Anything for him.

I smile with joy –

No girl could ever be so lucky –

Until reality slaps me in the face.

It’s fun to pretend,

But I must remember;

It’s for her, not me.



Valerie,  age 16







I know what you meant when you said

Words sound differently out loud,

And I cover my face


I’m afraid of what I say.

I can hear you’re hungry

When I lay my head on your belly.

So desperate to hear such a sound again,

I starve myself into oblivion




Sandra,  age 17



Compilation © Betsy Franco