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Setting Up For Failure

They call him a lawyer.
Constant jibber jabber begins;
His fascination with language develops
After learning his first few words.

Or how about a rock star?
Banging on pots and pans
With other utensils from the bottom cupboard;
The only one he can reach.

Perhaps architecture,
Stacking his blocks as high as they can go
Like a game of jenga,
Praying they won’t topple over.

Future mathematician—
Having addition and subtraction down pat,
He learns the fastest in his class
They say.

Definitely an artist.
His talents of staying in the lines
Exceed all the rest in his grade—
Something he can do despite his ADHD acting up.

Grades are slipping.
“Acting up in school”
Scribbled on all report cards.
What happened to the child with so much ahead of him?

First hit of weed
To be cool like the older kids
It was only once—
Assuaging his best friend’s uneasiness.

Did he drop out?
He hasn’t been in school for three weeks—
Ditching after the bus drops off.
Too cool for a future.

He needs to turn his life around
As he drowns in his sorrows
With alcohol and drugs
Of losing everything he once had.

Living on his parents’ couch,
Working twenty hours a week
On minimum wage
As Pizza Hut delivery boy.

Filled with potential,
He had it all
But the path taken cannot be undone,
It’s too late now.

Could have been a lawyer,
A musician, an architect—
Even a mathematician or an artist
They say.

No, he’ll definitely be a failure.



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