ANNIE ROBERTS (rock climbing)

My mother waitresses down at the diner,
the one between Pearl and Main.
My older sister got herself pregnant,
and lives with her boyfriend, the next town over.
I haven’t seen my father in years,
and sometimes agree with that poem that says,
“….life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”
Listen, I ain’t complainin’ all that much.
I go to school, and help my mother out,
busing tables at breakfast at the diner
before I have to make my first period – gym.
My favorite activity there is the rock wall.
I am the fastest one up the side in my class.
The metaphor is too simple – I have to keep climbin’,
no matter what obstacles are in my way.
I wish my life were as easy as “The Rock,”
that there would be some guarantee
I could make it over the top of the wall
and get outta this town for good.
Hah, please forgive me if I have to say,
I live between a rock and a hard place.