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Ten Minutes 2010

Janet Kuypers
(poetry converted to prose)

    I watched a cartoon where a boy was caught shoplifting. he stole a game for himself, and he made up to his mom for it by getting a picture of himself in a frame. his mom was so proud. and all I could think of was that I stole something once and my parents made me feel like hell for it. I wasn’t getting a game for myself I was getting them Christmas presents; everyone made me feel as if I had to spend as much money as everyone else... and everyone else had a job and was an adult, I was a kid (I was twelve) and I had fifteen people to buy presents for.
    but I was getting THEM presents, because they made me feel like I had to be more than an adult to compete with them. to compete for them. and it never won.
    I never won. and I’m still not winning.
    so is this part of why I’m so messed up? so is this why I’m an overachiever? so is this why I do so much? so is this why I feel the need to always succeed?
    I always do, but is it always at my cost?

Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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