I am a product...

of hard knocks, and hindsight. Shoulda, coulda, god damns. 
Of middle class raised parents backsliding, and the new low income. 
Of a school system that pushed me through to the next level,
with minimal effort to actually reach out to me. 
Of teachers getting frustrated with me for wasting my talents, and berating me to do better, yet never asking why I’d already given up so young in life.
Of a mother who lost her voice, and ability to protect in an abusive relationship.
Of waking up to my father sneaking around the house,
looking for money, anything, to help him out. 
Of parents doped up, and passing out. 
Of McDonald’s being the only thing we could eat,
again and again, because our food stamps have up and disappeared. 
Of stepping in and defending my mother, when no one else would. 
Of memories coming back, and paralyzing me in a time machine of my mind’s own creation. 
Of doing drugs for the sake of figuring out why they mattered more than us. 
Of becoming addicted, and understanding why. 
Of kerosene stains on our ceilings, and winter being our ice box.
Of historical trauma, and a Grandfather with a photo of Old Man Crawford.
... That ran thousands of miles away, backpacking through different states only to pathetically realize how cliched my hopes in escaping this rearing was. Complacency, and numbness.
Which has no place in my life, I would rather die or push myself. 
Undoing and sifting through my past to envision a future. 
And I hear all these memories at once when I apply myself to new things, things I feel far from deserving. Like an overloaded computer, my mind trudges forward, trying to focus on competing a task. All the while so bogged down.
I will push, have pushed, and with this tenatious spirit, shall achieve all that I thought but a rich kids dreams.
This poem is about: 
My family
My community
Our world


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