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    Spring backward. #photoaday #flowerstagram #firstdayofspring #spring #lastofwinter ❄️❤️ So yesterday, I ran a poetry workshop at a middle school and hearing the words from these youth, I feel a lot better about the world. One boy wrote a poem & was very shy about reading it. I offered to read it for him. To my surprise, he wrote about people wanting freedom and not being “illegal.” I hope he finds the courage some day to read the poem because these days, hate voices itself louder than love. Our kids deserve better role models. I didn’t grow up thinking about my immigration status, but I think many children have to now. 💔I’m at a very low point in my hope bank. I’m taking notes on how to say goodbye to a country. I think one way is love and one way is poetry.
#loveislouder #happyworldpoetryday This Sunday I made it to church at a Unitarian Universalist congregation. I arrived as a panelist for an immigration and human rights discussion. My audience was majority White. I started with a poem and then my college journey narrative. It is a heavy feeling to be a person who potentially faces deportation or undocumented status and to stand in front of an audience that though sympathetic, cannot imagine what your world is like. They listened to me and the other panelists very actively. One of the panelists, Klara Bilgin, showed us this poster-size cover of Time magazine’s March issue with her own addition “Why America?” At the end I was surprised that most people had comments rather than questions. When we say immigration is a controversial issue or a “hot topic,” it’s true. I got to see it today by people commenting on their experience traveling abroad without borders or their observations of how much labor is expected of undocumented immigrants. Many of them were proposing solutions. I wish Congress were as productive as these people were in their 15 or so minutes to comment and ask questions. #rageatCongress #votesmart #speakup Little sister poem. Be woke.❤️ #ajamonet #poem
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1,000 miles: step 12

Earlier today, I came across an article about a high school student’s suspension… for writing an empathy poem. An empathy poem for the Newtown shooter. Excuse me, but I don’t find anything threatening about Courtni Webb’s poem (its beginnings can be read here).

Webb and I are about a year apart in age, but in her poem I find my own thoughts. As a society, we take cover in finding scapegoats. We take pride in being so kind to our neighbors, when in fact we don’t care much. We choose to look the other way.

When I was in high school, I wrote a poem about silence, and how it is an accomplice to death. I wasn’t responding to any particular event around me. I was responding to a lifetime of observations. But what if I had been responding to a grotesque tragedy, one which had gone nationwide?

And I find it wrong that our youth can’t express their views about society when all around us, we are always being looked down on because “we’re not wise enough.” How are we to become wise enough if our words are pushed aside? If we talk about things “too soon” rather than too late? No, I’m not immune to what occurred on a Friday, in December of 2012. In my opinion, I thought it would serve America as a wake up call.

Look after your ill.

Don’t shun them. Don’t misunderstand them. Don’t keep them cooped up.

Look after your children.

Tell them you love. Tell them to be kind. Tell them they’re safe.

Look after your morality.

Don’t tolerate violence. Don’t tolerate abuse. Don’t tolerate bullets.

America, you are more than the sum of your dead. We are not the places we’re going– we are what’s happened and how we’ve reacted. We are a history that the textbooks never wrote down because we are too ashamed of what we are.


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