An Open Poem

Claustrophobic young people are
Always in between school and play
Reality and fantasy, love and war.
It’s hard to be a youth today
In this fast-paced world of fastfood,
And the possibility of injury in every corner
Anyone born now would
Now and then know what it means to suffer.
And the answers to suffering
Number as many as the people who live
Some choose to pursue high-living
Refraining to give
A hope for a lost generation
That has lost itself in its vanity.
Some want to become the center of attention
In hopes to survive on pity
Without pitying his starving friend.
Some say “I don’t give a damn!”
Waiting for the world’s end
Forgetting what it means to be human.
Teenage suicides, teens killing teens
Methamphetatime, heroin, ecstasy
Marijuana, games splatting spleens
Willful ignorance, teenage pregnancy.
Does it sound familiar, hope of many
The dreams that we have foregone
In search of meaningless folly?
What have we done, what have we not done?
Then there’s global warming, genocide
Endangered species, new diseases
Nuclear arms race, terrorism far and wide
Apathy, sexism, food shortages.
When I was born, all I had was love
When I grew up, an education, and a will
These three will help me prove
That there can be change, that there is hope still.
I never chose to live, someone did that for me
I’d rather live than not at all
Today I start the change I want to see
The change I want to start in me – and to those who heed this call.

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