When did I stop dreaming

Was it that time I crushed my fist
into my sister's back,
finally unleashed?
"You don't know your own strength."
I'm learning now.


it was the morning in sixth grade choir
when I scratched at my scalp
and a nervous glace found them laughing and
"Oh my god."
"Look at that girl."

Was it my first wary steps
into a creaky classroom
across the street from gang-torn houses,
manuals open, copies made,
without doubt or question?

It can't be.

I know,
I was still dreaming
when she called out,
"I'm HERE!"
and made me Mama.

I saw her curls all grown
and bouncing,
he and I holding hands beside her.

Still, not mine.
Still not me.