Voices of Youth: Poetry on mental health

This article is part of Concentrate's Voices of Youth series, which features content created by Washtenaw County youth in partnership with Concentrate mentors, as well as feature stories by adult writers that examine issues of importance to local youth. In this installment, student Jessica Ruffin shares her poetry on mental health.

Overwhelmed 

The room's silence sounds like a thousand voices 
My mind blanks when I open my mouth 
The teacher speaks yet I can't hear a word
I cover my ears. 
The silence screams 
All i hear is nothing yet everything
The sounds waver as if underwater
I feel a tap and i gasp 
Oxygen fills my lungs
 yet i am still suffocating 
My eyes water yet tears dont fall. 
The teacher speaks louder 
but they get quieter 
Darkness fills my mind like a void
Have I fallen yet?

Jessica Ruffin is a ninth grader at Ypsilanti Community High School. Concentrate staffer Sarah Rigg served as her mentor on this project.

To learn more about Concentrate's Voices of Youth project and read other installments in the series, click here.