He’s only a forklift driver?
she asks
without ever having met me,
without taking time to know
the traumas that have cut me down.

You’re not living up to your potential,
he says
as if I sit on my ass all day,
as if failure isn’t a thing
that can happen to anyone.

You are so much more talented,
they say,
never considering how often
talent loses rock-paper-scissors
with the wickedness of people.

You have to do better.
One day
I’ll let you know
just how much that fucking hurt me,
you, who could have been such a dear friend.

It’s a waste of all your gifts,
they say
as if there couldn’t ever be
a purpose to learning the wisdoms
only found in a low life.

You know, I’m sorry
that I’m not anything
any of you want me to be
because it’s not for a lack of effort.
People just fall through cracks.

People take advantage of other people.
People cut other people down
and I have often been the victim,
a burden that has crushed me,
that has made it hard to stand,

but also a burden that has shown me
how to draw light from the world surrounding,
the importance of loving fellow man
and the strength such love affords me
to get through a life so challenging.

So why don’t all of you stop worrying
about what I do for a living
and recognize how I struggle just to live?
Maybe when you all stop adding to the burden,
we can finally start moving forward.

I don’t always want to stay here.
I someday want to fly.
There’s just a long road ahead of me
that is so easy to get lost on
when I’m left to walk it alone.