I am broken
Not whole

I want to be whole
To be put back together
To be fixed

I go to the ones who I’ve given my pieces to
I believe if I take them back
I can be whole

Some refuse to give the pieces back
They say there’s no reason for me to have them
And I am rude to try to take them

Some have taken my piece and put it in place of their own
Their discarded shards lay on the ground
I leave them there
Those aren’t me

Some give my pieces back quickly
They claim my pieces are useless

I look at my assortment of pieces
I start to put them together
They don’t fit

I try again.
And again
But no matter what I do
They won’t go together.

I’m confused.
A thousand thoughts run through my head
Why don’t they fit?
What does this mean?
Will I never be whole?
Will I be broken forever?

I hear a sob, but it’s not my own
I look over to see someone else
Standing in front of a pile of pieces

I walk up to the crying person
I see they are broken too

I look at our piles of mismatched pieces
I take one from my pile and offer it
It fits perfectly

The person smiles
I feel a piece click into place

We share words and pieces together
I look at myself and see there are still gaps
But that’s okay
Because I’m not broken
And for the first time
I truly feel whole

-- Alex G., 9th-12th Grade