Discovering Self Worth


South Africa

Some days drug on

Slower than a snail scraping across a plate of salt

A symphony of nails on a chalkboard  

Serenading my every move

Reminding me


I quickly learned how to cleanse

The wounds left by biting remarks

With my own soothing inner monologue


“You are better than that

You deserve to be happy

You have worked hard for everything you have

Do not let them make you see yourself as


You are



Suiting up in armor of sarcastic remarks

And jaded smiles became a

Daily routine


It didn’t take too long for me to

Make some enemies

And lose some friends


Feeling like an outcast didn’t stop me from

Leaving my mark on a place that

Didn’t want me to begin with


 Other days, however, flew swiftly

Carrying me through on a current of melodic laughter

Carving canyons of light in my days

With each heartfelt tinkle


I used my armor to protect me

As I found ways to go places

Many had never even



The fact that I was unwanted made it

Immensely easy for me to work my way

Out of there in the coming year


My days became embellished with

Fancy words like

“School Based Scholar” and “Co-Op”

But really,

I was out


College, Which I had been

Begging/praying/yearning for

Became my escape from the mundanity

And isolation that had become

My daily life


Work became my safe place

My home away from home

Where I could show my strengths

And work on my weaknesses

Without being ridiculed for either


I did, and continue to, encounter the unfamiliar

And I tackled it with guns a blazing

And with an open mind


This is the year I truly discovered

What I was made of

The year that I discovered

I am who I am because of what I’ve done and


Is okay



This poem is about: 
My community


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