Valedictorian

"Valedictorian"
The word sings in the ear 
Pierces the senses
Calms the soul
Stokes the fire
Gives a warm hug
Throws me to the ground
 
Am I proud?
Of course
So why the mixed emotions?
Maybe my goal is not:
To "always be on top"
To "be the smartest kid"
To be looked at every time the word "intelligent" leaves a teacher's lips
 
Maybe I'd rather be seen as valiant,
And not one who is senselessly dangerous
But one who is a harbinger of justice, mercy, and kindness.
Maybe I'd rather be seen as a dictator,
And not one that trashes the thoughts of others,
But one that literally dictates in a way that changes lives.
Maybe I'd rather be seen as a historian,
And not one that simply documents history
But one that creates it.
 
You see, the word "Valedictorian" is a box, not an earned title,
That classmates reserve for the
"Try-hards," "the nobodies," and "the anti-socials."
Don't put me in a box on a shelf
Because you might find that it falls on your head.
 

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