SELF MADE

Look at you now,

Mr. Hotshot, Ms. CEO,

all puffed up,

boasting you’ve earned

the spotlight

completely on your own

Maybe you did have

nothing more

than a childhood

in a drafty apartment,

dry cereal most days,

fearful streets,

handouts for clothes,

filthy clinics for the flu,

foster parents who

needed cash and only one lousy

stinkin’ teacher who thought

you just might be worth

a damn

Did you make your own genes?

Choose the time and place

of your birth?

Earn those other gifts of luck

and circumstance

that keep dropping at your feet?

Nothing there to chisel

into stone,

no bragging rights

to wave at the clouds

or stir small kids

of little hope

to leap with joy