I am a war-torn nation;

I am battered, broken, destroyed,

and nearly decimated;

I have been drafted into this post-apocalyptic brawl

between who I am and who I could be

and have no other choice than to fight to the death.

These eyes have seen atrocities unlike any other;

these hands have dealt with shaking and pain

and the inability to create hope;

these teeth have ripped my lips to pieces

to prevent this voice from crying out

for the end to come.

I am a child soldier;

I am young, naivé, strong,

and surely able to overcome;

I am this way simply because of the

life I have been given,

and the crosses I have born.

These tears have gifted me with life;

this work has shown my ability to adapt,

and to shine;

The scars I bear tell the story of a warrior,

a patient,

a friend.

I am a poster child;

I am the paragon, the paradigm, the example,

and the cure;

I do not shrug the duty of spokeswoman

so that others may attempt to understand

me and others like me.

I am anxiety.