Poem By Bridget Bereznak
My name is Anna Brown.
I grew up in a small town.
I lived in the country's farmland,
and my life had not gone as planned.
Not only did I grow up poor,
My father left us when I was four.
We never had enough to eat;
There was never a day I tasted meat.
I had three brothers and a sister,
but she had been sucked up by a twister.
She was only two and still a baby;
If it didn't come she would be alive, maybe.
My brothers were young, smelly, and mean.
The tiny stream was our only way to get clean.
We lived in a home of mud and straw;
During the rainy season the house would thaw.
Although this home was hardly house,
If only mama still had a spouse.
My poor mama was always stressed;
There was do doubt she was depressed.
She worked all day to keep us alive.
Until the day the social worker did arrive.
She took my brothers and I away,
One of our neighbors did betray.
Someone claimed us children were forgotten,
Because our farmland no longer grew cotton.
These people never really cared about us,
They just had us put on an old dirty bus.
We were going to a cramped foster home;
In this new dwelling was no room to roam.
There were eight kids excluding us four,
And every child has their own chore.
Mine was to sweep the kitchen floor.
At night I couldn't sleep for the kids that did snore.
Two of my brothers had been adopted.
My foster parents had both co-opted.
They fostered children for the money.
In this house it was never sunny.
Everyone's heart was bitterly cold,
Waiting for the day when they could be sold.
I missed the old days with my single mother;
I would never trade her for another.
We still kept in touch with lengthy letters;
Sometimes she sent me home-made sweaters.
Yet on my ninth birthday I found out she died,
I went to bed early and cried.
I found out she had killed herself;
They sent us her ashes to put on a shelf.
My only family left was my brother Kyle,
We had dreams of living on a secret isle;
Where we would have everything we wanted.
The reality of this had never daunted.
We always thought things would workout;
That one day we'd be happy without a doubt.
But I had stayed in that house until I was eighteen.
Kyle had volunteered to live in a submarine,
He left on his birthday for the navy.
The last meal he had was biscuits and gravy.
For a couple years later, he had drowned.
And now I was left, the only brown.