I live in a state of constant work,
Doing only what my elders say.
"Feed the chicken."
I feed our only chicken.
"Milk the cow."
I milk our only cow.
I live in a state of constant poverty,
Always needing, but never having.
"We don't have enough food."
I forgo food for my younger siblings.
"We don't have enough cloth for your siblings and you to have new clothes."
I wear my old, too-small clothes.
I live in a state of constant humbleness,
Never complaining, always helping.
"We aren't going to get the crops in on time."
I help bring in our meager crops.
"I'll never have time to get your sisters ready."
I get my sisters ready for the school I was never allowed to attend.
I've never wanted anything,
Yet the one time I ask for something, my parents forbid it.
"You can't go out into the city! We need you here, not chasing some absurd dream!"
I calmly stare her down.
"Listen to me, girl. You walk out now, and you don't come back. Ever. Is that clear?"
I nod and turn away from the only life I've ever known.
But now I can make a new life for myself.
Now I am free.