Listen Up!

Updated on January 6, 2018
Anna Marquardt profile image

Anna is a Graduate Student at Angelo State University. She graduated with her BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing.

Listen up,
I have something to say
about voices being suppressed behind podiums and loud mouth politicians.
They tell us to speak up but then shut us down when we get too loud.
We got problems too, you know
with college tuition and unsafe sex
because we were never taught how to say yes or no.
We were told to sit down and listen to our elders
because they know best but now we inherit a broken system
that we’re “too lazy” to fix.
So, call me loud
but I’ve got something to say.

Listen up,
because we’ve got technology to take us places
beyond borders and walls that aren’t masked by
false pretenses of safety but really hide behind
racism and hatred.
We may text and tweet
and sit around but we will not sit down
to being called lazy
when our generation goes to work and
women make 75 cents to every man’s dollar.
So, listen up,
because I’ve got something to say.

Listen up,
I’ve got words like knives
but I will not use them to terrorize innocent lives
and cause wars that will never fix a thing.
I will use them to save souls
and read poetry to those that have lost.
I will welcome those who have been outcast
by bathroom bills and homophobia.
I will not wreak havoc with my words
all for the prize of a vote.
But listen up,
because I do have something to say.

Listen up,
and listen closely
because you may not hear me over the shouts
of those who oppose anyone stepping out of line.
You say we don’t know respect
but when I try to argue that women are equal
and black lives matter
I get told I don’t know what I’m talking about
and that I should stay in school
where I’ll drown in student debt
and try not to be assaulted
as I walk down the street alone.
You say we don’t contribute to society
and spend our life glued to our phones
but every tweet we send is a cry for help
and every photo we post
enunciates the beauty we try to find
in a world where our children
are gunned down on the streets
and our loved ones choke on disease
because they couldn’t afford their hospital bills.
So, listen up,
because I have something to say.

Listen up,
because it seems you don’t have a clue
what happens when you’re a millennial.
We claw and fight our way to the top
but get knocked down because of skin tones and gender.
We listen to crude music to know we’re not alone
and we curse and shout to have our voices heard
among the hoard of insults thrown at us.
We’re picking up trash that is thrown in the ocean
and we try to wrap our Syrian friends in our American flag of warmth
but it’s reserved for those who really matter,
Like billion dollar corporations that bathe in money
and laugh at those who were born in poverty .
So, listen up
because I’ve got something to say.

Listen up,
because I’m only going to say this once.
We were born in a world that was set on fire
with the matches made from trees.
We were born into a war where we bombed
those that were different than us.
We were born into a world that we did not create
but are supposed to take responsibility for.
So excuse me if I need to suck on jello shots
and pop pills to feel alive.
We live our lives being graded for every word we say
and every move we make
so excuse me if there’s a little rebellion
mixed in with my rock n roll.
Excuse me if I don’t smile
at every passing man that gives me a look
Excuse me when I fail my SATS
because letters and numbers don’t mix in my head.
Excuse me when I don’t hold open every door
because your shirts says “No Means Yes.”
Excuse me when an older man asks if I want to go to church with him
and I reply that I don’t want any trouble.
Excuse me when my friends and I are just trying live
and we get told that we are lazy.
So, excuse me if I don’t conform
to your societal need of perfection.
Listen up,
because that’s what I’ve got to say.

Questions & Answers


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      • RobinReenters profile image

        Robin Carretti 

        13 months ago from Hightstown

        I hear exactly what you are saying I am so supportive of what you are going through.

      • profile image


        13 months ago

        Earnest and real.

        Its not fair or right.

        It's a mess and its hard.

        But we HAVE to care and make a start where we are and who we are with.

      • RobinReenters profile image

        Robin Carretti 

        13 months ago from Hightstown

        Great and deep connection to how the world is it's no heavenly bliss too many lives we get more hit with the ton of bills and boy what we miss out on. Nothing is grounded the wrong fireworks go bang too many terrorist someone screams not to be heard the expenses of colleges we became animals in hell herd. But I must say so many thanks for your voice your words told the story how it is its a tough world and no-one really cares. But boy do I care


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