Who are you to tell me what potential is?

The groomed, upstart young children

Getting ever luckier

While the rest


For their chance to shine and blow it

When they realize they’re so behind


How can you tell?

Which kids

Have to work hard

To supportTo learnTo live

To succeed?

Which kids are the seeds of success

Are born into excess

And overpower the rest?


How can you tell me – with a straight face – that we live in the best nation on Earth?

Have you seen the cities, the towns, the schools, the streets

Where kids who can’t get education abound?

Can you tell me?

Can you really tell me?

That this is fair

That the money you are born into is the money you have

And the eventual fate that will live

On through you

Through the opportunities denied you

Through the tools kept from you

Through the ideas secret from you

Through the help lavished on others

But not you

Is what you expected you were due?


Do you think it’s frustrating.

When the white male complains

About being in the minority of white males?

When colleges, if seas, are full of white whales?


Open your eyes

Because hard work and a drive to make something for yourself

Is potential


It’s not measured in tests

In scores, in letters, in names, in numbers

It’s not measured in looks or feelings

Not in comparison to the rest


Potential looks like action

Like dedication, like doing something

Like climbing your way out of a well you never even dug.


Who are you to tell me what potential is?

I got it.

Whether you know it or not.


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