The Things They Left Out


You Sit
In the same chair
surrounded by the mindless,
the dull
the Are You Seriously Sleeping Right now?
the “I do it to make my parents proud”
the stereotypes
the What Even Is That
the ones who care too much
the ones who could hardly care at all

And now,
you sit
In a dim lecture
Taught by a professor who doesn’t care
whether you pass or fail
If you’ll be successful
Will you,
make them proud?
Make yourself proud?

But you’re out,
in this “real world”
This dim slum
that they call
the “best four years of your life”

And now,
you understand

Your mentors in high school don’t seem as profound
The things you grew up looking forward to
are the things you fight each day
Should I even get out of bed?

And now,
you realize
The things once stressed in high school
Don’t matter
Passing a test won’t make you a good person
Failing won’t make you unsuccessful

Your worth is not defined
by a letter
in red
with a bold circle around it

That’s not you

These are the things they didn’t tell us
The things they themselves,
didn’t find out
until much, much

Those lengthy Power-Points
and essay topics
Could not stress
the feelings of uncertainty
and fear
that fill you every day
as you plan
for the future

They did not tell us
about the sound of your weeping father
Or the fit of rage and frustration
that is the sound of someone’s last breath
And the stillness
the gruesome, motionless,
And the eerie silence that follows

They did not tell us
about the hatred
the pure evil
That consists in those
just like us

They did not tell us
that through using the phrase “cultural sensitivity”
A grown man has the right
to personally victimize you
and everything you stand for

But you follow his lecture with an applause
A standing ovation
to the loss of your dignity

They did not tell you
that these no-name professors
in their untailored suits
Would stand before you
Every other day
And tell you
that your God does not exist

Failing to mention
that you would go along with it
That you would lose every ounce
of individuality
that you worked your whole life for
Just to get a passing grade
and ignore the things
that once made you

No, those lectures did not specify
the sound of your mother crying
or the noise your stomach makes
when you see that semester bill
for the first time
and the juxtaposition between wanting to cry
and wanting to give up

They did not tell us
how hard we would have to work
At a minimum wage job
where you are treated less
than the filthy ground you walk on
As you wait on people,
who were once
just like you

They did not tell us
how hard it would be


Grant-Grey Porter Hawk Guda

Powerful expression! 

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