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.