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Legacy Thornton, 17

Legacy Thornton, born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, is a poet, activist, natural hair enthusiast, and singer who loves to dance. She views writing as a personal release—the act of dissecting situations serves as a form of therapy. In her most recent published work, “10/09” published by 826 Boston, a youth literary arts and tutoring center, she struggled in examining a traumatic event that she had recently experienced. Her process of writing this piece greatly helped her understand herself and her coping mechanisms in response to the experience.

Thornton is a champion for the wider understanding of mental health and all of its facets, especially among youth. She believes it is the issue that is most overlooked by society even though it continues to plague her community and loved ones. Thornton is also a social media activist with interests in engineering and computer science.

Thornton will be attending Bunker Hill Community College in the fall, majoring in English Composition. She plans to transfer to University of Massachusetts, Boston in the near future.



The voicemail I never got to send

By Legacy Thornton


I wanna start off by saying that

I love you.

And that I know you love me too.

You’ve told me a million times and took every opportunity you got to embrace me

and further paint yourself as the muse for an ideal dad.


At 5, you were my superhero.

At mom’s house, you swept me away from the evil vegetable villain

to save my soul with pizza and *whispers* soda.


At 7, you were my favorite teacher away from school.

At our house, you taught me how to ride a bike.

You picked me up off the hot, unapologetic ground,

and did that trick where you held onto my bike long enough for me not to realize when you let go.


At 9, you were my guide.

You led me through Boston in the day, and New York City at night.

Every day was the same routine with a different adventure:

Make memories, drop my brother Legend off, drive through the city with the same album on replay,

Alicia Keys being the soundtrack of my sorrow because I knew that our time together would come to a close.

I wasn't ready for you to let go of that bike.

I wasn't ready for you to leave me, again.


At 10, you were my magician,

famous for your disappearing act.

I couldn't fully apprehend your magic until 12.

On the day I needed you most.

On the day I was most vulnerable

On my birthday.

The day of my first fight and you weren't there to pick up the pieces of me that broke.

You weren't there to absorb my tears with your shirt.

You weren't there to hear my voice calling for your name,

Asking where you went,

If you were okay,

If you’d ever make it back in time to say “happy birthday”…

You didn't.

But the week after, you did manage to send me a voicemail

Which left me more confused than before,

Because you never answered my questions.


At 17,

You are my father.

Someone who makes it a plan to visit me at inconvenient times, and sometimes talks too much about a topic just to make sure I understand.

But you are also someone who is goofy

and you never forget to tell me you love me

At 17,

I can understand that every superhero has their Achilles heel,

and that every magician has their quirks.

I understand that people you put on a pedestal are capable of disappointing.

You are a cracked plate. You make mistakes. But you are not broken.


You call me Leg 1

and my brother, Leg 2

Because you can't function without us,


and I love you, just don’t forget / to call me back.