Abused Anonymous

By Brianna Booker

daddy’s out of jail now
she can’t see him anymore
he’s in a halfway house

she pictures a building with only three walls

mamma gets home from work
she hands her baby girl a coat
winter’s coming in the mountains

This is only halfway to a home; the best she thinks there is

they live off diner leftovers
snacks from the gas station
seasoned with ash from the menthols
mama can’t afford to be as sick as she is

times are changing, but not for them

mama loses her part time job
at least minimum wage was something
they sleep in the car for a few nights

this isn’t what she prayed for

she’s going to grow up
go to a good school, get a job
she knows hard work doesn’t always pay off

living in the bad part of town changes you

She got half a mom
and a dad who left
yet she’s still fighting

an unfair fight with life

this thing she’s doing, living
it’s a special kind of radical
she’s going to keep fighting

mama taught her not to give up

someday, she will get off work
come home, to four walls and a family
it will all be worth it

she’ll have what she prayed for

Brianna Booker is a 19-year-old Pennsylvania poet who brings her “teacher voice” on stage with her. She discovered “the scene” at 15 and began performing at Open Mic at the Sherman Showcase, which she would later become the regular host of. Currently, she is involved with the ESU Living Poets Society on her college campus, where she is working towards her degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in English with a focus in creative writing.

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