By Kayla, Age 18

(Kayla is a Forest High School student and was present during the school shooting that occurred on April 20, 2018)

Everyone sees what you present
And most don’t care to see deeper –
To see the depression and the anxiety
That plagues everyday.

They only say
“Talk about mental health!”
In the aftermath of the tears,
In the aftermath of the blood.

Kids carry the issues without question,
Just like they carry backpacks,
The expensive bulletproof ones,
I guess.

We all fake it –
Fake being okay or whatever.
We’re all ready,
Ready for a return,
Ready for a repeat,
Ready for the end,
Ready for one last one.

Some kids carry backpacks,
Others carry guns.

We all carry fear.

*If you or a family member have experienced a traumatic event and need to speak with someone please reach out to to a trusted friend, family member, teacher, doctor, or contact the Crisis Call Center and/or the Crisis Text Line for help (Text: “ANSWER” to 839863).

(All contributions to Kids Speak are not edited or changed in any way and remain exactly as the the child submitted them.)