by Cammi Casey


When I hear the word, “ode,”

I think of a love poem or song.

But sometimes,

I wonder about the people who have broken the poet’s heart.

All the former lovers and people who

did not have odes addressed to them.


So this is an ode to the boyfriend I had in eighth grade.

I am in twelfth grade now,

and he still spreads rumors about me.

Of course,

he always leaves out the bit about how he sexually assaulted me,

and how he was the main subject of a few of my



This is an ode to my ex-stepfather,

who never seemed to care about anyone

other than himself,

and his son.


This is an ode to the best friend I was in love with.

To this day,

I still don’t know why he started avoiding me.


This is an ode to the girl in sixth grade,

who stabbed me and all my friends in the backs

several times.


This is an ode to the two girls in middle school,

who told me that

everyone hated me.

I was told this

every day,

until I couldn’t take it

any longer.


This is an ode to the mother of the boy

who would still be my boyfriend,

if she didn’t think

I was a whore.

The mother who

stripped me naked in public

and humiliated me.

The mother who,


just wanted to protect her son.


And this is also an ode to the stepfather of my

beloved former boyfriend.

The stepfather who

got angry and

physically harmed

the boy I love.


These people are heartbreakers and bullies and liars,

and you may not think they deserve to have a poem written about them.


But I do.


Because all of these heartbreakers and bullies and liars

taught me something.

These people who bullied me and

put my friends and me down

made me who I am today.

And without them,

I’m afraid that

I could have become them.