I was born a blank canvas,
Not a scribble or a word;
I was untouched by age,
Unphased by the absurd.
My medium was not known;
Nothing caught my little eye
Until one day I saw a sticker
That someone did apply.
It branded me as different,
I thought it set me apart;
My skin didn’t know any better;
I thought it a work of art.
Later on another sticker stuck;
This one said I was too slow,
But Momma said take your time
To figure out what you know.
Soon I grew tall and lean
When the next sticker came;
“They” called me stick skinny then,
But I thought we all looked the same.
The next year “they” called me thief,
But I didn’t steal nor kneel;
They called me sticky fingers then,
That sticker hurt for real.
Finally, I escaped that brutal place
With much pain and a degree,
But when I applied for a job
They stuck “unqualified” on me.
So here I am, my heavy life in hand,
Sick with fever, rage, and cough;
I learned too late that stickers hurt
When you try to peel them off!
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As a teacher, I sometimes meet students who feel the cards of life are stacked against them. This is my attempt to put myself in their shoes, to assume that persona and write from that perspective.