why-festival-4I felt like a firework set off in a protest
sparks settling down setting signs alight.

At each meet, I am mute,
so I talk to myself, my lips puppets,
I am unwanted, I say, to myself.

I am a wasp at a picnic, a puppy at a pound
I am a small matter with small sounds.
I don’t belong with the pack, I am on a solo track.

A dandelion seed floating on wind
left out, frustrated, hated, isolated,
not good enough, I am not good enough.

I am a ghost at school
gum on the back on a shoe,
a worm being trodden on until blue.

I am a lion being tamed,
a bear baited
a mouse amongst elephants stampeding.

I am pretending to be a painting,
I blend with the wall.
I don’t feel real. I don’t feel anything, but blankness.

I shout to bring the blood back.
I need to lash out,
close my eyes and doubt

A poem created by Hannah Walker, based on messages left by children and young people at the WHY festival, London, 19 October 2016