By Katherine Dorensky
In Grade 12 English class, we had to create spoken word poems between 20 seconds and 20 lines based on previously discussed poems. Based on the spoken word poem, “I am a Man” by Jay Hulme, I wrote this poem. Mr. Hulme’s poem was about the emotional pain he had to and has to go through since he came out as a transgender man; he uses the imagery of physical pain to describe his struggles in life. My poem is about how comparing bodily pain to psychological pain stemming from bullying helps others understand, as we all can relate to the impact of physical pain.
Imagining physical pain is always easier than psychological pain.
We see scars, we feel them, we empathize with those who have them.
Jay Hulme uses pain to paint a picture of transphobia
To illustrate how words never really leave you, leave you only hurting.
They sit there, burning.
Declaring that you’re hurting from words might catch attention,
But saying your pain is like a fire that won’t extinguish
Will shake away the apprehension,
That’s blocking one from helping others in anguish.
That’s why describing pain offers aid to those who feel pain from words,
Verbal abuse in other words.
From a bully, who relishes in causing psychological pain,
Using illogical ways to stab at one’s weak points,
Why do they do it? For gain,
To gain power, be above the rest;
Establish fear, to puff out their chest.
Jay inspires youngsters to be kind, kind to all, and kind without fail,
As failing will bring others pain, and they can be pretty frail.
His poem of names and scars teaches us to mind our words,
As a pen is mightier than a sword, and so is what we say.