Valerie Wu – A Depiction of Woeful Understanding

Valerie Wu wrote this poem when she was thirteen years old and in eighth grade. At that time, she was still demandingly friending strangers on Facebook while pursuing her romantic interests by writing and completing her Harry Styles fan fiction. Each day, she would post rants that were way too personal, leading to many of her friends unfollowing her and calling her an embarrassment to society. 
(She still is. Just not quite as much.)


Two days ago, at eight p.m,

I changed my profile picture

I was smiling, face in frame.

“No filter.”

(At least, that’s what I said.)


Thirty minutes later, two days ago.

At eight-thirty p.m,

One person had liked it,

one person had retweeted it,

one person had hearted it.

That person was my mom.


Two hours later, two days ago

at ten p.m,

someone I didn’t really know

but had friended, followed, added anyways

(because I need more people to know me)

had liked, retweeted, hearted it, commented,


Gorgeous, I wish I could be you!

Heart, heart, smiley emoticon.

(I didn’t understand why.)


Four hours later, one day ago at midnight,

I looked at the computer screen

and saw the same two likes, retweets, hearts

resting there, taunting me,

with their emptiness, their misconstrued faith

in my face, in me.


One day ago,

I clicked on my profile

I have two-thousand and twenty-two friends,


and fans.


But now,

I’m looking at how busy everyone is with their lives

and that’s when I realize,

no one has time for me.


(And now, I think, I understand.)


valerie wuValerie Wu is a junior at Presentation High School in San Jose, California. Her work has previously been featured in The Huffington Post, We Are Three Dimensional, and Los Angeles Times Insider. Valerie serves as the resident columnist at The Ellis Review, where she writes occasional musings on race, identity, and culture in modern America. She tweets @valerie_wu.