I am midwest born and raised
on heartland dreams of escaping to somewhere new, somewhere better,
anywhere but this kansas suburbia that was my childhood.

I am defined by the lack of importance I was to you,
the court-mandated visits, your reckless state of being,
the closets I hid in to avoid the fights and glass being thrown,
and the constant let down of your lack of presence.

I am a blurry night of others taking what was not theirs,
using what they desired and leaving me to pick up the pieces from their wrath.
…I still haven’t found all the pieces yet.

I am an emotional wreck of disappointments,
let downs, and a mental scrapbook that holds
more memories of heartbreak and pain than it ever will of peace.

I am the definition of independence,
constantly falling down and relentlessly pushing forward
striving to live my life with the values my father taught me,
and the morals that are laid upon that cross.

I am broken,
pieces of my heart stolen, bruised and battered,
but still hopeful to one day learn what trust is again,

I am standing here, arms wide open,
nervous, afraid, vulnerable, wondering
if I can be accepted as the damaged individual that I am.