After reading one of my poems
my friend said, “It doesn’t seem like the main character has a growth mindset.”
I looked at the writing. He was right.
But it’s not that my character doesn’t want to get better
it’s that, he doesn’t want to get better for someone else.
We are forced to grow
tied-off, and shaped like pruned plants.
The high schoolers, who want to leave high school
are aware of this fact. They want to escape it
by not doing anything.
I was always one of those “good” students who did as I was told
because I wanted to earn the “A”
My mother started me on star charts when I was 7
and it never stopped
She was a teacher
Now I work with teachers
There are books written on how to give children stars
teachers read them in book studies, so they can get educational credits
Education is all about how a person talks—that’s what teaching is
it’s not necessarily about what someone knows.
The point is, my poetry reflects heroes, who don’t have a growth mindset
and this is why…
We can live our entire lives, growing, how we should grow
so we become beautiful specimens in government gardens
Red, with majestic petals, bent on mating
but I always admired weeds, down below
tempting, and dangerous
the “good” flowers
weeds get pulled, but they come back again
their roots go deep
flowers get harvested, cut near their bulbs
they need fertilizer and sun, and careful tending by gardeners
weeds grow in all conditions
they get sprayed by weed killer, and they don’t die.
To be a weed,
like my friend in middle school,
who set the bathroom on fire—
the principal thought he had him well in hand,
and after he got sent to Juvey,
the garden variety world wrote him off
Now he owns his own business, and makes millions.
My heroes do what they want
it’s not a message we obey
Society is obsessed with outrage rebellion and then revolutions,
for a time
but the hands of the clock keep going round and round
keeping perfect time
like workers, like cogs, like gears
in a system
that reduce people to
depreciating assets that might break
Eventually, workers won’t be able to keep productive time-lines
and they will be replaced
High schoolers fail to grow their own way
because they think they can have it all
Give them enough time, and they realize they need to get serious with their lives
their days of sleeping on the beach and watching sunrises
they need houses, cars, kids
and to get those things, they need a job
and to get a good job, they need a good education.
Most of them were flowers when they were young
I’ve never seen an amaryllis turn into poison ivy
I don’t know what to do,