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10 Things I Used to Hate About You

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Artwork by Ananya Singh, staff artist

#1: The skies here are the wrong color,

I’m in the middle of starting over.

#2: It’s no Sunshine State here,

and the teachers call me by the wrong name, impatiently,

instead of honey, lovebug,

in sweet iced-tea voices.

#3: The roads here are too narrow,

Mom says.

She wears makeup to cope.

#4: I ride the school bus here,

like I’d always wanted, and the senior behind me

tells me that everyone gets too tired to talk when

it’s this dark.

#5: The church here is cold,

and my sister whispers, How come

they haven’t got a choir? I’m not praying anymore so I

just shrug.

#6: The train comes too late at night here,

but the train means Appa is home, with hunched shoulders and chapped lips

curved bravely upward in another

bad joke.

#7: The maples and pines here are too tall,

like they have a point to prove. I miss our valley

of rust-colored sand and dying cacti.

#8: I don’t know how to handle the grief here,

and it sounds like the beginning of a cliché:

the brother of my best friend

had his funeral on a Wednesday,

so I forget to say thank you.

#9: Being average is hard here.

I smile at the boy who explains, heatedly, that the word


is misleading.

#10: This is a letter to the darker suburbs.

I have always been bad at counting beats,

and your rhythm is an impossible


of blurring borders.


Catherine Park is a senior at the Bergen County Academies in New Jersey. high school newspaper. She is a National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medalist and a recipient of the New Jersey Governor's Awards in Arts Education and has earned recognition from the Live Poets Society of NJ. Her work is forthcoming in Aerie International. Besides poetry, her passions include politics, international affairs, and advocacy, and she holds a strong interest in various social and cultural issues of the 21st century. In her free time, she enjoys reading (everything from news articles to YA novels), listening to lo-fi music, and watching Netflix documentaries.

Ananya is an 18 year old artist and animator. She was born in India and moved to Chicago at 4 years old, and is now an animation student at SCAD. She might be a Youngarts finalist but she is also a fierce competitor on the nap battlefield.

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