Icaria

I never learned from Icarus
I took a dis, internalized it, and ran with it
My future was planned for me, n college wasn’t part of it.
Elementary teachers reinforced it, saying, “you never amount to anything”

Walking home from school with doubt, questioning how smart I was
My grandmother would counter that narrative, build up my confidence
At home it was math on the easel, reading at the library most afternoons,
History, Political Science, and Civics lessons with my grandpa in the garage
The cycle continued, broken down at school, built up at home…
But at least I recognized it

The lessons were learned, people didn’t want me educated,
schools just brought me down
I wasn’t the first to feel this way, but fam made sure I wouldn’t repeat it
Pushing forward with family as the foundation, making them proud – my motivation
Two generations ago my family weren’t allowed to go to school, they forged their own education

Growing up the library was a sanctuary, no judgments, no labels
I wasn’t ESL or the kid on free lunch
Just another student reading books for cheeseburgers
Through the school malaise, I found refugee in upward bound
They cultivated my academic prowess
Helped me internalize the scholar within

Since then I’ve felt invincible — Like I could achieve anything
On wings sown by my grandmother
With wind passed down by my grandfather
And the energy to keep it at by parent’s sacrifices
I ignore the naysayers, I fly towards the sun

They see me flying, they see me triumph
But its not about being the only one in the sky
It’s about figuring how to reach the clouds, touch the sun, then pass it on
Its not about rising above my community, but findings ways to rise with my community

I strive for greatness, Why not?
My family didn’t teach to settle for average
I learned how turn discrimination into fuel, underestimation into motivation
It all propels me forward, it keeps me flying
They talk about the dangers of getting too close to the sun, but…
I never learned from Icarus

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