Poems by Soad

Vanessa Casco, teacher

Assignment: Students read The BreakBeat Poets Poets Anthology and chose a poem to inspire them to create new work.

Day 2 Poem
by Soad

This, we block and ignore
This, we are blind to.

The world has swallowed itself into rage and hate. Into war
This, where the jokes end.
This, where the little boys are taken away to become soldiers
This, where the women and little girls are raped.
Where the rest of the world seems like it doesn’t care
because of the internal problems they’ve caused for themselves.

This, where the country you live in provides for another
To ruin the country you come from.
That your parents come from.
That your relatives still live in.

This, where the “Global News” does not cover a story about your part of the world.
This, where they tell you they’ll try their best to help
but they see it as a wast of money.
This, where money is desired more than saving a life.
Many lives.
Innocent lives.
This hate.
This, comes from the need to be in power.

Yet there won’t be anything to have power over
If the war only ends by the lack of the living.

Here, where I live.
Here, where I try to survive.
Here, is my only option.

Here, is where I was able to learn a new language.
Here, is where I was able to build my own character,
My own thoughts, opinions and words.

Here, to survive,
Weakened the part of me that is still trying to be killed.

Weakened the part of me that is still trying to be killed.
The Muslim/Arabic girls who got the chance.

Here is where I stand, live and breath.
To make a difference.
For myself,
And for those who can’t.

Here I create a new image of myself
To represent what,
Who and where
I come from.

Assignment: Students read Langston Hughes’ poem “Theme For English B” And wrote their own poem inspired by the same format.

Theme For English B
by Soad

The instructor said,

Go home and write
A page tonight.
And let that page come out of you—
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if everything could be easier?
I am sixteen, Yemeni, born in Brooklyn, NY
I went to school in Queens and now in Brooklyn
to this high school, in Williamsburg, by the Bedford stop.
I’m one of a couple of Middle-Eastern Arabic students in my school

A mask in the morning is what I wear.
Bidding farewell to my mother leaving home for school, I put on a hijab
that fits like a sock and skirt longer than my legs to hide
the beauty from the inhumane of mankind. After getting off of my 8-stop train ride,
I go to school and feel as though I don’t need to hide that beauty.
The hijab. The skirt. The mask. All gone.
What hides the beauty is now hidden away, stuffed into my backpack.
But as I leave to return home that mask and everything else is now back on
leaving me with a force feeling.

So then again I wonder, if everything could be easier?

It’s not easy to do what I think is best for me
at sixteen, my age. But I guess I’m what
I feel and think, and what I do and don’t act upon.

So World, I hear you. Yes.
I hear you and you hear me here on this page, but can you listen?
Who am I?
I like to eat, sleep, and drink.
I like to live and love.
I like to learn and look at things without the thought of others.
I like to have a good read on a rainy day
and a nice walk on a sunny one.
Here on this page I sound no different than you, World.
Yet you treat me as though I am.
I find it difficult to live in you when all I do
is love you and all you do is hate me.
But World let me remind you, you don’t hate ME
You just hate who I didn’t choose to be.

Photo Credit: Untapped Cities

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