Prize Wise

Prize Wise

I knew

just knew in my bones

Karen was getting the prize

that should be mine

because the teacher 

didn’t like me

just because Karen’s mother was sick

the whole class had voted

to give her the prize

not because she deserved it

but they felt sorry for her

 

I was eight or nine at the time

and decades later

I still feel that resentment

that became the message

‘no matter how well you do

someone else always deserves

the prize more

so why bother’

 

this message resonates

when I think

only the damaged

write with an authentic voice

only the disenfranchised

have a right to attention

only the six-pack seniors

have a right to sex

I should feel lucky

grateful for what I  get



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