Valedictory Address

Here’s a verse I wrote a month or so ago after attending/watching various graduation ceremonies and speakers.


I am
lauded for my accomplishments, praised by my peers
the life of every party, mind too late for my years
pillared by those who love me – grateful to tears
at the same time isolated, a slave to my fears
I am that “could’ve had it all” guy, the wouldn’t pass the ball type
traded basketball hype for excessive alcohol nights
not even mad at y’all, I’m relaying what’s real
wish for minutes standing tall for every day that I kneel
can never say what I feel beyond anonymous verses
cuz there’s always insecurities, that gossipy person
that pause for concern, moments of cautious discernment
the fear of seeing what’s outside these walls of modest internment
plus I’m constantly workin-
another haunted diversion.
too scared to answer if all of this is honestly worth it
karma is purchased – think about that
regardless of service
a wretched tithe to stretch the tide so rampant narcissist worship…
…will only partially surface.
are you nauseous or nervous?

here’s what you didn’t hear at your commencement arrangement
life’s a series of disappointments, petty frustrations
regret in heavy rotation, go into debt for vacation
just to return to the routine of the same day-to-day shit
race for the pay it’s, the only true achievable value
sawdust as solace for what they’re speaking about you
only 25, I wonder if I’ll have the feet to see round two
mad I have no path to walk – my student doesn’t even know how to
cerebral palsy, too weak to talk or move independently
I feed, clean and toilet him, approve of him mentally
but it’s he who attends to me…
see, I stumble through the sunlight, face all bent and wary
he tries his hardest, smiles so large like his condition’s temporary
so for a couple hours I’ll forget the truth that surrounds me
that I will never be as happy as the way he is around me