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tiger pride
tiger pride

tiger pride


When I eat dinner

My family sits around my father

Quiet when the table rattles

Because I know his lips are sewn

In silent agreement to the words leaking from

The canines of my mother

When the tiger talks

The chicken in my mouth turns ashy

Because when I see her eyes in a fire

Bright, red, burning, fragile

I know she’ll remind me of everything I could be

But wouldn’t, couldn't,

When my mother talks

The ash is soothed by her tea

Because when I see smiles

Crinkled eyes, folded, rickety hugs

I know it will wash away when I won’t be

Able to keep up, never able to,

I cry when I see red circles on my papers

And falling numbers on my screen

I celebrate my tests instead of my smiles

It growls, the tiger of my own

An ash tongue and teeth sandpapered to a point,

I am jealous of smarter friends

Who don’t have bruises under their eyes

Shaky eyes and shaky hands

I am jealous of better people

Who are quicker with a pencil

Than I am with words.

Author Notes: reworked version of "sophomore's pride"

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22 Jun, 2022
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