There was a little girl I knew
Born to a drug addict, the youngest of five,
Forced to survive on rubble and scraps
Because checks were stretched thin
Between sins and rent.
There were no aces in her deck
Yet she went to school every day
From K to 12, studying hard,
Drawing cards for a better hand
And filling the gaps
When spades fell through.
As I watched, she became her own dealer
Saving for college, working red-eye shifts
And getting lifts to school,
Applying for college all on her own,
Unaware that she had already grown
Beyond her poor birth right.
She was strong, she was brave
And she saved herself from jokers and bluffs
Dust and rags,
A diamond in the rough whose diploma said
She had finally played a flush.
In her world of tatters, the odds were low,
But she wasn’t slow to play her hand
In the face of strife
Because to those born into the slums of life,
Odds are things to be broken.