They Said

By Alyssa Palladino

A beautiful girl with the confidence of a queen,

Enters the vast world at the age of sixteen,

Her eyes agleam and her heart light,

Such fragile girls are not meant for night.

She ventures off in great spirit as she tries,

But all they do is tell her lies,

Her long, dark hair they said was no good,

So she made it lighter as they said she should.

Her mind was of a rare brightness, they said this was wrong,

So sharing her brilliance did not last long.

The weight of her body they said was too much,

So that day the girl skipped lunch.

She was a prude, they said, for she had yet to kiss a boy,

So she lost her virginity only to be treated as a toy.

The girl said she was leaving, they said for her not to go,

But what had happened to her the girl did not know.

At last the broken girl returns to her room,

Where emotions of hope are replaced by emotions of doom,

She is a skinny, cold mess and no longer herself,

For the girl she once was will only be seen in photos on the shelf.

She did not realize the cruel world she was amid,

Dear girl, do you see what society did?