Champion of My Own

I used to say

I wouldn’t make it to my teens

Because I felt like I’d commit suicide

Or get caught in a drive-by

I used to feel

Like life wasn’t hopeless

Because I was a worthless kid in the city

Held up by dreams, held down by a dad

That never seemed to care for me

I used to feel

Like my dreams would remain in my head

And never make it to my hands

I was confused and easily angered

I didn’t know what to do with my emotions

I used to say

I wouldn’t ever make friends

Nobody would ever like me enough

Because I didn’t like being around people

And I didn’t know what to say to them

I get anxious, forget to smile, and often stare

Searching in earnest for the right words

Now I’m almost twenty, and my list of friends

Won’t wow any judges or win any awards

But they’re special to me, making them worthy

Of time, effort, and space in my poetry

Some of them I’ve met online

Some of them I know by work

But each one has given me a new life

I used to say

I’d never find a path that fit me

I wanted to be nothing, yet everything

Each day brought a new career aspiration

Each night brought the realization I couldn’t

I was too quiet, too this, too that

But words gave me wheels and a fast track

Pen in my hand, I feel the lightning flash

Through my eyes and onto these papers

My heart beats heavy, it beats now

And it beats forever

I used to say

I would never find love

No girl would ever find me worthy of her space

Yet I found something far greater

In my search for someone else’s love, I missed

My own

And now I realize that the greatest love of all

Is the love of yourself

To know what is right for you, and what isn’t

Being a champion of your own destiny

Is glory for all ages to witness

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