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This poem was written by a teen in care. It won a runner-up prize in our ‘Write Speak Share’ writing competition. The theme for the competition was ‘Your Biggest Achievement’. 

As the car drove away, I cried.

They said it wouldn’t be for long, but they lied.

Five years on the first of July I’ve been away from Mum.

Five years on the first of July I’ve been left feeling numb.

Two brothers and two sisters snatched from my life;

I am endlessly trapped in self-strife.

What is there left for me?

Who am I meant to be?

What will the future bring?

I cannot dance, and I cannot sing.

How am I going to succeed at school with all these thoughts in my head?

“How am I going to be able to carry on?”, I asked myself as my heart bled.

Isolation, exclusion, and warnings is what school entailed.

I carried around the constant fear that I had failed.

“You are great!” “You have potential!”, the teachers exclaimed.

I was a troubled and vulnerable child who could not be tamed.

Tragedies of two friends;

One from a heart attack and one drowned in the river Thames.

Both 16 with hearts of gold.

Both 16 but deserved to grow old.

There are so many questions I want to ask:

Like, why was I chosen to experience my past?

How many more traumas are there to come?

Will I ever be able to stop feeling numb?

I gave up and buried my head in my hands.

Slowly, I began pulling my hair out, strand by strand.

Fog engulfed my mind.

If there is some sort of God, why are they not being kind?

Reflecting on my life opens my eyes.

Positivity and happiness begin to rise,

Willpower and drive start to slowly breeze in

Now I understand that everything happens for a reason.

I was chosen a life that would make me stronger

Even if that meant I was with my family for no longer

Independence, self-awareness and stability is what I have gained

Strong is what I needed to be and in that I have been trained.

Realisation of my potential became clear.

I am not a failure and I have no fear!

From what I thought was a ‘bad start’

Has now become a beautiful work of art.

I am worth so much more than what I believed.

Self-awareness allowed me to witness what I have achieved.

The constant battle in my head I have now overcome.

Resilience and self-control are what I can claim.

Academically, I may not be the best

But I would pass if common sense was a test.

Saying that I did quite well as you will see

Out of eight subject exams, I achieved six GCSEs.

Despite my weight and fear of the unknown

I completed DofE without a single moan,

Trekking through endless fields as the rain poured.

I have also achieved my Duke of Edinburgh bronze award.

Poetry is a huge passion of mine

I used it to make me feel somewhat fine.

Two competitions I entered at school

Made me achieve two poems published, which is pretty cool!

Ambition and determination are what drives me

As well as my family and not knowing what I could be.

Prime minister? Lawyer? Or a checkout lady?

Thankfully, my future is no longer hazy.

Deputy chair of my children in care council and an ambassador for ANV,

A member of the Voice of Oxfordshire Youth and it doesn’t stop at those three.

Interviewing for new social workers and IROs.

I am an apprentice on The House project which encourages others to grow.

Looking back on the past few years

There have been many smiles and many tears,

So much worry and self-blame

Nevertheless, my biggest achievement is that I have won the game.

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