“Mother Said” by Cathy Nie

Cathy Nie (age 15)


Don’t date any boys in high school,
Mother said. Or you’ll spend all day daydreaming
and forget to study. When you forget to study,
you’ll get bad grades and you won’t get into college.
Then you’ll have to work at McDonald’s flipping burgers
until your arms are sore and you can’t move your fingers.
Then, you won’t be able to even take showers,
comb your hair, or flip burgers. So then, you’ll look
like a street bum and you won’t have a job.
And who will marry you then?

from 2018 Rattle Young Poets Anthology

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