I Exist. Hear Me.

Winning Poem at South Jersey Writers’ Group Writing Competition – 2018.

I Exist. Hear Me.

by Cassandra Ulrich

Hey, you.
Yes, you.
Stop telling me things that aren’t true,
That I’m limited by my conditioning and skin color.
Listen, I am chocolate brown and pretty too.
I’m only limited by what I think I can’t do.
You tell me that my nose isn’t pointed and my hair not straight.
You remind me of how I’ve been damaged, trying to make my happy memories unsure,
Bringing up things that should make me insecure.
But I stomp my feet in defiance because I’m not subjected to subhuman thinking.
I’m smart and skilled.
I am capable of learning, creating, and loving.
You are no friend,
Only my worst enemy.
So unless you have something encouraging to say,
by all means turn away.
But you remain, attached with crazy glue.
No matter.
I will still triumph.
I’m determined to be free, free of depression and self-consuming defeat.
So, stop, you hear me?
’Cause I know your name.
I call you “self.”

Please visit the Winning Writers post to read the winning short story as well.

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