Broken Statue, Broken Student

She grew up in a home

where every grade mattered,

where “A” stood for average,

and anything below 100%

was not good enough.

She grew up in a school

that told her she was special,

talented,

advanced.

They honed her skills,

made her work for the grade

rather than the knowledge;

she became their puppet.

But they didn’t teach her

that it would get harder,

that the kids who read

at a college level in 6th grade

would be failing AP Literature,

struggling to finish even a single book

to the end,

and that she would grow to resent school,

despite her love for learning.

They didn’t teach her

that someone is always better,

smarter,

more gifted,

that the colleges she’d dream of attending

have an acceptance rate of 17%,

and the system has become so corrupt

that in order to make it in the world,

it is essential to take AP classes.

They didn’t teach her

how to solve problems,

that when things get tough,

you have to be tougher,

that good work only comes from hard work,

and success is not easy.

AP students

are the apples

that fall from forgotten trees,

planted in lonely backyards,

faded, like the family photos

that haunt us:

a father that is more handsome,

a mother that is more beautiful,

a sister that is taller,

stronger,

smarter.

How do we live in a world

where to succeed,

we must sacrifice our social life,

our family,

our hobbies?

How do we live in a world

where the grade,

the score,

comes before a student’s mental health?

They never taught her

that her best

would never be enough,

that she

would never be enough.

We are

the broken antique statues

they try desperately to glue back together.

But no glue can seal a broken heart,

and no one ever notices

the cracks

beneath the surface

of a fake smile,

a forced laugh,

a broken student.

This poem is about: 
Me
My community

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