My life is like this backpack I carry with me,
The content inside it brings complexity.
My classmates all have them, but none are the same.
Each has its own items, each attached to a name.
These backpacks get heavy, they never are light,
These backpacks impacted by everyday life.
Today for example, while sitting in class,
a question came to me, that I was afraid to ask.
I wondered if this teacher, standing in front of me
has pre-conceived notions of who I should be.
And what about the kid, who lives down the street,
comes to school every day with nothing to eat.
Her backpack is empty of physical things,
but packed with the feeling embarrassment brings.
Barry in my class, he sits next to me,
his backpack says Mary haunted by ‘HIS’ story.
He sits in his class with his shoulders up straight
but walks by the restrooms wondering what door to take.
My best friend and I sit together on the bus.
She has two mothers which can cause a fuss.
Bullies poke fun at her from one stop to the next,
By the end of the bus ride, her backpack’s a wreck.
They call Johnny names, cause he can’t read or write.
Though they’re only words, they keep him up all night.
And what’s even worse, they push him around.
His backpack went flying, and fell to the ground.
What I saw come from Johnny’s backpack that day,
was anger, self-hatred, self-harm and dismay.
As I helped Johnny up I whispered in his ear,
I’ll lighten your load, pass the backpack here.
My school is full of backpacks, no one is alike.
So how can YOU help make these backpacks light?