Word Warrior

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It’s a Monday morning, and I am fed up.

My teacher babbles on and on

in his nasally, monotone voice,

versing the same damn elementary rhetoric

I have heard all my life.

He presents Grade Point Average

like it’s a prophetic message that will dictate our futures,

and orates the lines of an American-biased textbook

with hellfire and brimstone,

as if he is the Pope standing on a pulpit –

Holy Bible in his hands.

 

I look around at these kids –

so desperate for authority and discipline

in a world full of chaos –

who eat up his words with eager eyes.

I want to speak out,

I want to scream,

“Grades do not quantify self-worth,

and this man is no holy prophet!”

But I bite my tongue until it bleeds,

and I quiver in my seat,

fear engulfing my words with a heavy blanket.

 

It is a Friday night, and I am fed up.

At a party, amidst drinking friends

yelling incoherent fragments at one another

over the blare of the music,

I sit poised like a wallflower.

Every weekend, it is the same dull conversations,

the same poisonous drink.

 

I look around at these same kids –

trying so hard to escape the polluted reality

they have accepted –

wasting their precious lives away.

I want to open my mouth,

I want to yell,

“Is this all there is to life!?

Ma’am, tell me your deepest fears and

Sir, tell me your wildest dreams!”

But I clench my fists,

and I drink my words –

which ferments more toxicity than any alcohol

when left unspoken.

 

This is my life, and I am fed up.

I am tired of the dirty hands in my throat

gripping every sentence and suffocating the life out of it

before it can even make its way off my tongue,

and out of the womb in my mouth.

No longer do I fear my own light,

eternally burning in my chest.

For without my mask –

using my words as ammunition,

and my mouth as my weapon –

I am a warrior. 

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