Grandma Sharon Talks to Her Teenaged Self

You couldn’t have known that law school
was out of the question,
when you were Girl of the Month your senior year
and answered the question about your future plans.

No one told you, because your parents didn’t know,
how hard it is to pay for college
when you don’t know how
to navigate the system.

Your job at the Mexican restaurant,
just you and the owner on weekends,
paid the rent. The landlord’s garden
yielded turnips. You didn’t like turnips.

So, what’s a girl to do?
Get a full-time job, taking classes here and there.
It took another twenty-five years
to get your graduate degree,

find the job that you were meant to have,
teaching kids to read and write.
You couldn’t have known then,
that it was your calling,

something you might have missed
if you’d been more affluent,
if you’d had more information.

I don’t believe in fate now.
You didn’t believe in it then.

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