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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 17

“I suppose, I love this life in spite of my clenched fist.

…we all have different reasons for forgetting how to breathe…”

Last Wednesday, my English professor shared Andrea Gibson’s “For Eli” with our class. He said the video was a response from one of our classmates to a class discussion on war. He meant, timid Claudia had shared the video.

Sometimes, I have no courage to share my opinions with the world, let alone a crowded room full of young and old. I have been silenced much too often, and it hasn’t always been by others. The mere knowledge that I have so many obstacles ahead is often enough to defeat me. I can blame it on my immigration status, but that wouldn’t be the complete truth.

But when I do manage to stand before my own college students, I will give Ms. Gibson a well-deserved introduction. She is a-maze-ing. Amazing. Her voice has the power to make one shiver. Her words echo in your ear, and sometimes, taste like the gentlest kiss.

There are poems of hers that remind I will always be 13. I will always be a child uncovering the bitterness of life. I will always be falling into pieces. And yet, she makes the breaking so beautiful. I don’t know why I didn’t come across her sooner. At 13, I knew singers: Kelly Clarkson, Sia, and Pink. Musicians, not poets.

And I must believe God created poets to remind us not to take life for granted. Pain is the first note to the tune of happiness.

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