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The Valedictorian

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Below is the poem entitled The Valedictorian which was written by poet Rhea Daniel Dear. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Valedictorian

Value
All
Learning
Education
Denies
Ignorance
Construct
Theories
Organize
Read
Insist
Appreciate
Notice

She is a brown eyed girl with soft brown hair
The gown covers her pregnant belly
The tasseled cap is her crown
Nothing can down her determination
Motivation comes from nightmares 
Motivation comes from dreams
As she speaks, tears stream
She recalls her defiance, disobedience, deadly deeds

She is overdue but happy to be on that stage
Her rage is different now
He doesn't acknowledge their coming baby 
or his fatherhood
He called her nasty names in the neighborhood
Members of his gang brought her pictures of him
at the park with his hands all over another
She was struggling to become a mother

Later the law would send him to jail
for statutory rape of his little sister's friend
The offenses mounted and she 
kept going to the Word
On her knees she pleaded
The situation was insane
How would she maintain?

She studied in the bathroom, on breaks
at work, on the bus, late at night, early morn
What could she accomplish? She had to mourn
the death of that other life
and be baptized into the new
Now she knew what to do
On her knees she pleaded
for a place for her and the 
baby to stay
A home for unwed girls made
a way

She read, wrote, calculated, devised
Her books became worn as did her eyes
"God help me not to despise"
"Make the bitter better"
She sang verb conjugations
As she washed dishes
Her feet hurt and her back cried
If she failed it would not be 
because she had not tried

When she was in the streets
She had partied hard
Now to pass this test
She would do her best
?Y porque no?
Her belly was so big
She sat sideways at the desk
There was a time when she
drank, doped and was rude
Now she was humble, determined
And the reward was now
Wow as they cheered her speech
"It all begins with me
First I must see
I tell you change and successes are
Always in your reach”

Value
All
Learning
Education
Denies
Ignorance
Construct
Theories
Organize
Read
Insist
Appreciate
Notice

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