I'm not an American

We entered through the back door.

I see a room.

A big metal cooler,

She went in and out a lot.


Some bread,

A foot long!

I was hungry.

But I couldn’t eat it.

She would scold me.


There was an air mattress.

She would let me sleep on it.


I was only 7,

I was always sleepy.

I was only 7,

She said, you can’t hang out with your friends.

I was only 7,

She said, never let them know.

I was only 7,

She said, be a big girl.


Do big girls lie?


I was only 7,

I lied

And lied.

I said that I was American,

When teachers asked.



I lied some more.

I told my friends that they can’t come over,

To play.

Because I barely had a home.


When they asked if I could sleep over,

I always said no.

I was insecure.


They had big houses,

Lots of toys,

And so many barbie dolls.

But I,

Lived on a mattress.

A mattress in a kitchen.

I did not have toys.

I did not have barbie dolls.

But I did what she said:

I never told.


Who would think,

Lying is for big girls.

And when little girls lie,

They force themselves to be big girls.


This poem is about: 
My family
My community


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