#POETRY 21

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Twenty-One
I just got started:
Community college class-load
Part-time employed
Starving student vegetable rice dinners
Cheap tennis-shoes
Growing out dyed hair
Retro-fied hippy wardrobe
Minimum payment on maxed out credit cards
Running slippery rain hills
Boyfriend at the 4-year university
Push start Volkswagon Super-beetle.
I went on to waste my time in various ways,
70’s disco themed parties,
Hippy to office appropriate to yoga culture
Moving states,
Changing boyfriends and bedroom furniture
and jobs and careers,
Having choices.
You no longer have choices:
Ended in dirty lands
Filthy wounds
Too soon is a fucking understatement and a crime to say.
As I saw your name and age
Amongst the list
Of 33, 31, and places like Idaho
Hunting, Simi Valley
Families never getting their prayers answered
Hopes smashed
Dreams of college education
Gone.
What happens to that money that should have gone
To community college class-loads
Vegetable rice dinners
And cheap tennis-shoes to run in
Slippery rain hills?
Your names now on a list
That is far too long
And too often forgotten
When we can’t be pulled away long enough
From being entertained
To recognize the sacrifice
The loss of dreams
The elimination of choice
So we can still think we have one. 

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