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Angel Gardner

Mama Wants Success

I am balancing on a line in-between

what I need to be and whats expected of me,

calloused feet no match for

the wire gripping the thickest pads on my soles

and pushing,the pressure of responsibility sending my nerves

to a point they never warned me about,

in sessions of adult preparations,

appropriate reactions and DBT

I’m now bound tight to a life

that I am learning how to nurture to a being,

from what was once a seed.

Know that mama doesn’t want

you to see a survivor,

I need you to see me as nothing less

than a success story

they tell me I survived as if

my chapter is somehow finished

as if I approached each battle shameless and naked,

to be told that I was to retreat

rather than rebirth from ash and fire

like the phoenix I’ve made myself out to be,

so now I find myself balancing on bare feet,

wire close to the tendons taut underneath

breathing harsh from blunt realization,

with one hand spread across my middle protectively

only I can know what to expect from me,

and mamaexpects nothing less

than a success story.

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We welcome submissions of articles, poetry, artwork, and photography from our young readers who have experience in the foster care system and/ or homelessness. If you want to be, or have been, published in the Mockingbird Times visit www.mockingbirdsociety.org, call us at (206) 407-2134 or email us at youthprograms@ mockingbirdsociety.org. Note: Incoming letters to the editor and correspondence to youth under 18 years should be addressed to the Mockingbird Times and will be opened first by adult editorial staff.