They told us we were special,
Each gift-wrapped like collectables, scraping ink into
papers on tables with cries for help engraved
into tainted wood.
They told us we had talent,
From colouring inside the lines,
bringing outlines to life, with rainbows
and felt-tips, tip-toeing across the blank
Like crowds, protesting, chaos
over what were quiet streets.
They told me I’d be famous
my words would make me noticed,
that I’m clever, that I’m worthy.
Now I’m a number, now I’m a document,
a file on a screen.
Out of chance, out of luck
my name might
not be seen.
A poem about growing up, being told by teachers you’re clever, being told a degree will get you a great job, being told by adults when you’re young that you can do anything.
Then realising it’s not quite that easy.