For Zoe

by Edric Haleen

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You find a funny picture
Of a girl who you don’t know.
You Photoshop the background
Or add captions down below.
You post it on the Internet
For ev’ryone to see.
You’re looking at my face --
But you never think of me . . .

Can you remember five?
When you were very small?
Your room was full of toys.
You hadn’t started school.
Your family was all the world you knew...
Can you remember five?
‘Cause it’s the oddest thing --
I can’t remember five.
My memories are fading,
And all that helps remind me
Are the moments someone captured
In a picture . . .

Do you remember nine?
When you were growing up?
When you were getting tall?
Exploring on your bike.
Athletics after school.
Your parents cheering all the things you do...
Do you remember nine?
‘Cause it’s the oddest thing --
I do remember nine.
‘Cause that’s the year
When I became a meme.

And when you’re nine,
You like the attention.
But when you’re nine,
You don’t understand.
At nine, you lack perspective.
You simply think it’s funny.
And bombs are just in movies.
And Hitler’s just a name . . .

Do you remember twelve?
About to turn thirteen?
When things began to change?
Your world began to sprawl?
You fight with Mom and Dad.
You cope with jerks at school
You re-examine all the things you knew...
Do you remember twelve?
‘Cause it’s the oddest thing --
I do remember twelve.
I’m living through it now.
And if that weren’t enough --
I know I’m still a meme!

So what if I tire of being a meme?
What if I tire of teasing at school?
What if I tire of seeing my face
Next to pictures of Nazis
And bombs and catastrophes?
What if I hate all the cruel innuendo?
What if I think that the punchlines aren’t funny?
What if “Disaster Girl”
Tires of being Disaster Girl?

You post me on the Internet
For ev’ryone to see.
The sentiments are yours,
But you attribute them to me.
And I cannot disown them,
Or at least, I don’t know how.
If you were in the seventh grade,
What would you do now?


released February 13, 2013



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Zoe Gray

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