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When I was 12 years old, I submitted a poem as part of the national Drugs are a Drag competition. My poem won the national grand prize that year, and in 1989 I came to know myself as a poet.

“Real” poets rarely write things that rhyme I’ve been told,
but sometimes,
the right words
rhyme
by happenstance.

This is such an instance.

The Power of Choice

The power of choice we learn so young,
we learn the difference between right and wrong.
We grow from crayons, to pencils, to pens,
we’re referred to as “young adults” by the age of 10.
Before we know it, the monsters emerge,
peer pressure — drugs — our voices aren’t heard.
The reality of adulthood seems so far away,
when we’re dealing with pressures from every which way.
The choices we make as young adults,
in the future, all of us will see the results.
“Be cool, get high,” some kids will rave,
bad choices like that can dig you a grave.
Drugs fry your brain, books give it knowledge,
make the right choice — keep your eyes on college!

© Brigette Bustos 1989

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