Teachers

I have taught myself to shine
Even in a deep
Dark hole.

I have taught myself to breathe
Even in a dank
And ripe underworld.

I have taught myself to scream
When I could find
No words.

I have taught myself to live
When I only desired
To stop.

I have taught myself to smile
When even a twitch
Felt too much.

I have taught myself
To just be
Even when hated
Upon.

I have taught myself to love
Beyond friction, chaos,
And abuse.

I have taught myself
To rest
Even in panic
Inducing flight.

I have taught myself courage
When I felt
only fear.

I have taught myself to embrace
When fists were more
Familiar to my frame.

I also have
and probably always will
Overcome.

By forcing myself to learn
What others taught me
I could not.

By forcing myself to learn
That I could not
Do this by myself.

And with the help of others helping
I learned to love
Myself.

-Angel Marie Russell

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