Poem From MTWYS: Fourth Grade Evaluation


Fourth Grade Evaluation

I remember bits and pieces of it.
The pattern she showed me,
I could not decipher then,
now has faded completely.

What I remember the most
was how my mother fished for
more of an answer than just,
“I am a ‘learning disability.’”
I remember how the woman answered

voice rushed as if, overheard,
she would be fired.
“Twenty years ago your daughter
would be severely dyslexic.”

Now I’m weirder than ever.
Now I’m a stupid girl with a fancy label.
I am in this world where I am weird,
created for the teasing of my peers.

I don’t want to be weird.
I want to be me, but
who am I at this desk
if not a weird dyslexic?
My mother however, told me when I asked,
“What does ‘dyslexic’

“It means you have to be
really smart to be dyslexic.”
She said.

Sadly, the good things said
are often drowned out by the bad…

for I was a Learning Disability
to everyone who taught me.
“Hopeless”, they thought as they threw out
my test scores to make their
school look smarter.

Thrown into a room with two others
that knew no other label. Really,
just a learning disability?

Pulled out of class
to do work with the Special teacher…
Now I am special? Another way of saying
now I am a weird-stupid-learning-disability.

Another would tell my mother I was…”So severe”
that I would never learn to write or read.

Never amount to anything…
you stupid-weird-learning-disabled-
freak…is all I heard.

By Silvaan Ruth

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One poem from MTWYS.

A poem from a large poem story about my life and struggle with my dyslexia. Its called More Than What You See (MTWYS).


When I think of my
mother telling me
how I was born
I imagine the doctor walking
down the hallway
into her room
in a tantrum
for he had to miss
his church service
to help my mother
give birth.

Some “sunny side”
I wasn’t on.
He grabbed my head
bare handed
and flipped me
with little care,
into position
to quicken my birth
to get to his church.
I was born with his
nail impressions
around my head…
“She’s purple.”
My mother said.
“No, she’s not.”
he answered…

When she first tried to feed me
I would pass out.
She was just a
“paranoid mommy.”
He said smugly
walking out in a hurry
without a thought or care
of what he might have done.
Made my dyslexia worse
for the sake of his church.

For the rest of the book Click here

Chapbook: More Than What You See-Prologue: The Cherry Tree

Have you ever waded
through a vat of mud
knowing how hard it was
going to be to move,
or how deep you
would have to go?

I have. It gets thicker
and harder to push through.
It gets so thick it’s
nearly solid earth.

The sticks, rocks, and stones
scratch and penetrate as they grind
by your skin, as you heave each limb
forward pulling your torso with them.

Do you know what it feels
like to struggle against this force?
As you drown in its thick soil
you can’t talk or breathe.
You just keep going until-

your head breaks
the surface tension,
gasping for respiration.
at the base of the cherry tree,
your only ambition
before you, barren, save for
one cherry that you
can never imagine unless
ingested by your taste buds.

You look on
to see other cherry trees.
Vast is the distance between them.
You advance knowing what
it is to get there but
curious as to what you
will find and where,
or who, you’ll end up being.

By Silvaan Ruth

What to read the rest for free, click on this

Chapbook:More Than What You See- High School II

Oh but the embarrassment doesn’t end.
I brought a tangerine to school.
One friend asked, “What is it?”

“It’s a little virgin-vir-vir-ver-sion
of an orange.” but before I could finish
they were already laughing.

“It’s a little virgin!”

Once there were
two boys fighting in the hallway.
One punch to his weak chin,
he fell over,
his legs bent under him.
He wasn’t moving.
Someone from the stunned crowd said,
“Hey you okay?”
(no, he’s not)
my thought answered.
The puncher had walked away.
I couldn’t talk.
“Should he be laying like that?”
someone else asked.
(no, he shouldn’t)
But I still couldn’t speak.
Someone has to say something.
My mind raced trying
to find the right words.
Seemed like forever
before my mind unlocked and I could yell
“Mr. Snider we have a problem!”

I sat at my assigned table
The majority that sat with me
were black girls.
talking about the KKK rally
that was going on.
“They so ugly.”
“Yeah, they got
missin’ teeth n’ shit.”

“They keep messing with black people”
I thought.

They all stopped talking and looked at me.
Then I realized
the process was quicker than I thought that day
and I had said that out loud.
I was aware of my mouth
zipping shut as panicking
thoughts cascaded through my mind
and I suddenly found the sheet of paper
in front of me very interesting.
They all burst out laughing
Nodding their heads
at what I said…

and just once
the embarrassment
subsided a little bit.

by SR

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Chapbook:More Than What You See- High School

It’s tough in school
but not just because
Of homework or school work.

It can be tough
with friends,
mostly new friends…

Once I was talking to a new friend
online. I was having “girl issues”
and was complaining about this
throughout the majority of the conversation.

They were horrible.
I was doubled over,
painkiller wasn’t working.

She didn’t want to talk about it.
“My friends and I don’t talk about cramps.”

“Really?! I thought every girl
talked to their girl friends
about this stuff?”

“No, they don’t talk about that stuff…”

“Okay,” I said
and we went on to talk about something else.
It wasn’t until we signed off
that I realized something.

But first there is something
you need to know about dyslexics.
Sometimes we see what we think we wrote
not what we actually wrote.

After she signed off that filter was gone
and I realized I forgot the “m” in “cramps”

Even when she wrote back to me
“My friends and I don’t talk about craps.”
I still didn’t see it.
I put my face in my hands
embarrassed but laughing.
I went to school the next day
and had to tell her that I was dyslexic.
I was nervous not sure how
she was going to react.
Will she think I am stupid?
Will she stop talking to me
because I am different?
Will she decide to jump on fresh meat
and tease me?
She did none of the above
but I wish I could have pulled
the Jedi Mind Wave
and make her believe “cramps”
is what I really said.

by SR

Get my Chapbook by clicking in this link