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Selfish, you call me. Like I made the decision, like
it was my voice, not yours asking for it. You
told me to settle for less. To give up all
that I could be. To give you my surrender, my parole
for crime uncommitted, wars not fought.

You raised me, then asked me to never leave, you
asked me to never become. You laid claim
to everything I might ever be.

Selfish. Surrender your heart and all potential, you said.
To ask me for this at twenty with my heart still burning,
the fire you stoked from womb to broom. You told me:
be the gear that grinds
in the machinery of the world.
You told me:
think for yourself. So I did.

You are so angry, you told me. Yes, and
this is my inheritance. This is my anger, this, this
you gave me, mother.

You said think for yourself and I hit the ground running
hit the door with my hand, and was gone.

I will not stop thinking, will not look back.
Selfish, yes. I will not take the offered parole.
No, I’ve not committed any crime, no
I will not beg and steal like you have. Selfish!
Yes, I will be selfish with my heart and my life.
It is not yours and
I will not surrender.

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