At Risk

They tell me
     those kids
Are at risk--
And I wonder,
What must it be like
To be told you're at risk?
My whole life I was told I was smart
I was told I could be anything
And everyone expected me
     to achieve...
What must it be like
To be told you're at risk
Of failing every second
     of every day
Your whole life...
To have you head filled
With definitions of sub par worth
Sup par potential,
     sub par expectations,
Sub par living standards,
     and sub par education...
Those kids
Are not like these kids,
They're heads are filled
With some bleak reality
     of a world without possibility
Statistically speaking, that they
Are at risk
And the simple things these kids
Expect and achieve are a challenge
For those kids,
     they may never succeed
Treat them like a number
Plant the doubt in their mind
And tell them they're at risk
     of being another statistic
What must it be like
To be trapped,
Another check in another box--


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