I am a young woman
Rooted in the Bronx
And fertilized in poor education
The borough of the underestimated
And too many believers
Limbo bar set so low
Not enough high end achievers.
I am a 99 cent composition notebook
Full of A equals pi r squared
Maybe a few cupid’s arrows on each page
Because my attention span
Is no more than five minutes
And I can’t help but think
That we are in it, but not meant to win it.
I am Poverty
Draped in reused desks and chalkboards
Sprinkled with a little knowledge here and there
And drenched with complaints of the unsatisfied
This system thinks they're doing us a favor instead
And I know it’s not wrong to ask why
My world has more erasers than lead.
I am Privilege
Showered in tenured teachers
And drenched in private tutors
Come and ship those over to my block
And see how the other half lives
Because I wonder why we lack the things
We need most. What gives?
I am years of substitute teachers
A shower of handouts and silence
Half smiles and falsified intimidation
How can you question my morals and codes
And not question my limitations?
“I am a TNT stick lit from both ends”
And I will explode if my descendants
Are incubated in the dry soil I magically sprung out of
Because we deserve more than what’s given
Yes, I am a rose that grew from concrete
But we all don’t have that way of livin’.
I am Once Upon A Time
Lost in the pages of your books
Because I seem to only be that “forgotten chapter”
And the words I say clearly have a hard time sending
My voice through to the suits and blazers
And I ask: When do we get our happy ending?
I am The System
Grazing by the public schools
Presetting your footprints in the sand
Let me segregate based on status
Because I have that power and more
But why is it that twice my efforts to be just as equal
Still linger? Flopping on crowded floors.
I am a vulture
Ravenous for knowledge but
Left with the bones and scraps
Of the educational feast
Forced to fly where the wind goes
Trust me. There is more potential in us
Than you may ever think to know.
I am many things
Crafted by the astute and the realistic
I may be forced to swim in a world flooded with numbers
But I am not a statistic.