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First Place

Title: Real

School/Facility: Stolt Academy @ Wyoming Girls School, Wyoming
Teaching Artist: Tracie Musso
Poet: Olivia


As I sit here with so many emotions,
I think about my life, and feel especially broken,
It is so hard for me to believe all that I’ve done,
Tires my soul when I realize the person I have become


Asking myself,


Is it real that growing up my mind was messed up because mama was doped up and pops was locked up,
Is it real that I found comfort at the bottom of a bottle at such a young age,
And when pops found out he could not fathom words to say
So, he didn’t say anything despite the many things he was probably thinking, instead of taking my hand he took the
bottle and got drunk with me,


I lost a parent at the age of thirteen, but it’s not like his life came to an end
No, it was as simple as him not having the desire to be my dad anymore, just to be my friend,
And that really messed me up,


Is it real that on the other side of it all, mama got sober,
but as for me the path of addiction wasn’t even close to over
Is it real that I began partying and stealing; when the sun said goodbye I became young and reckless,
Leaving mama awake in the moonlight, worried, weak and restless,
Is it real that at age fifteen I became the person I swore to never be;
I was suddenly just another prisoner to methamphetamine,
Is it real that the girl who once hid behind expensive clothes and a pretty face
Became the girl whose cheeks were sunk in the girl who never left the comforting corner of a dirty basement the girl
who disappeared, without a trace,
Is it real that before I was an adult I lost everything and everyone I had,
But because my mind was so far gone I showed no remorse, wasn’t the least bit sad,
Is it real that, nothing and no one could have ever gotten me to stop,
Is it real that I would still be killing myself slowly had I not gotten cuffed by that cop,
Is it real that my life had become a serious clown?
Is it real that my life had become music with no sound?


That makes no sense; why doesn’t that make any sense? Because my life has made no sense!


Please tell me, is it real?
It is real,


It is my reality, it is what disturbs my sleep, but now it is the reason that I must succeed,


It is real that I hit the depths of rock bottom and I got higher than the limits of the sky,
It is real that I can’t change the past but I can the future because I’m sick of living like a stick of dynamite
Ready to:


Explode at any given moment.


It is real that I lost the trust of my mother, my sisters, my boyfriend, even myself,
It is real that I once ran away from it but now I am begging for help,
It is real that I continue to let myself sink in oceans of shame;
It is real that if I don’t walk through forests of pain
and tackle my inner beasts I’m going to stay the same,
It is real that I will live in vain it is real that I will go insane,
And I can’t do that
And I won’t do that because,


That I already did.