Poem: Anger at the Register

I wrote this poem today while on a break at work today. It just had to come out. I was a cashier at health food stores and coffee shops during undergraduate school. I was also a collegiate athlete for two years in cross country and track before I worked most of these jobs. I was a hard core runner! But when I quit running in college my life as I had formerly known it was over. My confidence in who I was crashed fast. When I quit running I had to work whatever part time job I could find because my job when I was an athlete was running full time and then some. I had low self esteem and lacked confidence to ask about doing internships in my department in college. I wandered lost for many years after I quit running. By the time I got to graduate school I was encouraged by my professors and people in my department to do internships. I have been rebuilding my confidence and life since 2002. Its been 7 years since I quit running and college. I tried to run over the years and it never felt right. I tried running recently and it feels so good again. Finally, it is a match! The poem below is a reflection of energy I am purging and releasing. It can hurt to revisit this but it is essential to write this to bring wholeness in my life again.

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Anger at the Register

I've got anger at the register,
Sidelined running career,
I sit on the bench,
With my hands covering my eyes,
Covering my tears,
I've got anger at the register,
I'm Native,
You can't see me,
I cover my body,
I run away,
I've got anger at the register,
Customer service,
Poverty level wage,
Beer bottle curse,
Wripped and torn receipts,
I've got anger at the register,
Ringing up your groceries,
Bagging them,
Green counter,
Dirty counter,
I've got anger at the register,
A hole in my jeans,
In junior high,
Principal assuming I was dirt poor,
Stigmatized working middle class Native youth,
I've got anger at the register,
I can't eat,
I can't sleep,
I can't be me,
I breathe your toxic air,
I've got anger at the register,
I am just another women of color,
Ringing up someone's groceries,
While I go hungry,
In more ways than one,
I've got anger at the register,
Because I want peace in my life,
But,
I've stepped over every land mine,
Inside my mind,
I've got anger at the register,
My soul deep rooted to the Earth,
You keep cutting my roots,
Removing me,
From my home territory,
I've got anger at the register,
These lights in this store I work at,
Are hurting my soul,
Dig into me,
Toxicity,
I've got anger at the register,
I've got anger at the register,
Anger,
And most wonder why the working poor are so mad.