They say “Dream Big!”

That any dream is possible if you work for it.

So you value yourself and your worth on becoming that dream.

And without realizing it, it doesn’t seem like a dream anymore.

Because you’re so sure you can achieve it.

And no one around you has the heart to tell you that it’s harder than you think.

Or maybe they’re convoluted just like you are, and they really think you can.


Because they say “Dream Big!”

And you’ve worked harder than anyone can imagine.

You’ve jumped the hurdles and climbed the mountains, and you’ve said “hell yes” to the people who told you “no.”

So the dream should be yours.

Because you worked for it.

That’s what they said.


Except it’s not.


They said “Reach for the moon and you’ll land among the stars.”

But the stars aren’t as bright as the moon, and when all you’ve seen for years is the moon,

The stars disappear.

You want the moon but you can’t have it. Do they really think you’ll be happy with a star?

Like a kid

Reaching for the monkey bars.

You jump. And you jump. And you jump.

Then someone comes behind you and tells you to try. Just once more.

And suddenly you have it in your grasp.

Except this time, no one is here to lift you up.


It starts in your chest. Where it hurts the most.

Your heart

Working overtime to keep you from thinking too much

Because your “big dream” was all you ever had.

Was all you ever wanted.

And it’s gone.

It was for nothing.

The pain. The worrying. For nothing.

Because you didn’t get your dream.

You’re worthless.

Every step forward stomped back down by 5 little words.

“We regret to inform you…”

A white man sitting behind a desk tossed your endless years of struggling onto a pile and picked up the next folder.

And you wonder what you could have done.

It must have been your fault.

If only you took a different class. If only you worked another job. If only you joined another club.

If only…


This is how the system works.

You work hard and you work long, but the world doesnʻt always care.

You donʻt always get what you deserve. 


They say youʻll be more successful when you get your degree.

They say that youʻll live a happier life. But now Iʻve been beaten down upon and I donʻt know that I have the strength to go on.

The system is rigged against us. The dreamers, the explorers, the optimists.

Because when it comes down to it,

It isnʻt your dream that defines you, nor the work that you did. Itʻs the society that surrounds you.

This poem is about: 
My community
My country
Our world


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