Blessings and Lessons

To be faraway 

From the land that 

my mother and my father know 

As if it were the back of their hand 

Is a bittersweet reminder 

Of all the sacrifices 

We have made.

To be faraway 

From the cousins and aunts and uncles 

That have created their homes 

Is a bitter reminder 

The struggles faced will never be the same.

To be faraway 

From a country where patriarchal views 


And education while Present 

Is lacking of quality

It is a sweet reminder 

Of what I have gained.
To be faraway 

From the land where 

Our religion is prominent 

And the language is spoken 

As if the wind and the air carried it 

Is a bittersweet reminder 

Of all that could be lost.

A sea so vast and treacherous 

We sail away from our country 

To be faraway from the land 

Known as a terrorist hub.

Misguided and misinformed 

Aplenty by media,

A bitter reminder 

To be cautious and careful

Of where we come from.

I must not show pride.

I must not show care.

For I don’t belong there 

Any longer.

To be faraway 

From the place where

Traditions and customs are so ingrained 

That breaking the mold is not an option.

It’s a bittersweet reminder 

That all freedom comes with sacrifice.

And I sit still 

In the land of the free

The home of the brave 

I wonder if 

We even deserve these names?

For I too, have family

I have loved ones 

In a land faraway.

I hope to God 

They are safe And sound

As we throw threats and assumptions 

Destroying the home 

And destroying the lives of plenty

For who am I 

Without the knowledge

That I come from 




Getting to 

Know myself 

To truly 

Love myself 

Has been my 

Most rewarding 

Most proud 


A Soulful Song 

An African American woman lays 

In the sterile white bed

She has a glass of flowers in full bloom

Her hands are neatly manicured 

I come in quietly 

Introducing myself 

And the function of my presence: 

Just to sit and listen or to

Chit chat a bit I always say sweetly 

The woman tells me of her younger days 

Singing for her local church 

Her love for the songs

And her love for her religion shines 

On her weary face 

I’ve been battling lymphoma 

She says quietly 

Her voice is raspy with age and her battle 

I tell her that 

She is probably still 

A beautiful singer

Before I know it 

A beautiful melody 

Filters through the quiet air 

She powerfully sings 

The song of her youth 

Her voice cracks and dips

But it is the most pure song 

The most real thing 

I have ever listened to 

I smile quietly 

Thank you I say 

You are beautiful 

After a couple moments of 

Comfortable silence 

She tells me 

Out of the blue 

You’re really pretty 

I smile and shake my head 

I remember clearly 

Not even brushing my hair 

That morning 

Thank you

Is all I can say 

And as I bid her adieu 

After more sweet moments 

I rest my hands in hers 

I wish you peace and comfort 

I think to myself

As I look into her eyes 

Willing her to believe 

But I already know 

She’s in good hands already 


And it may be unfortunate 

But I believe that cancer 

Is our most important fight 

For social justice 

For anyone


 of creed, origin, ethnicity, race or gender 

Could be afflicted with this illness 

If something has to bring together our 


Then this shall be it. 


Without the timbre

And cadence of my native language 

I feel lost

In a sea of people who 

wish to conform to superficial ideals

I wish to speak in a tongue 

That brings me closer 

To the ones that I love

To the land I was born in 

I wish to express the joy 

In sharing stories and 

Sharing woes

For language unites us all

I feel expressively distant 

From the culture and the roots 

That helped me grow 

I feel tethered to the land I’m in 

Only because I speak the same tongue

I wish I could express 

My diversity 

My compassion for my identity 

In a cadence 

In a timbre

That is all my own 

Hidden in the recesses of my parents pasts

And their struggles moving to a new land 

This compassion 

This identity I seek is 

Derived from my mother tongue 

Left behind on this new land 

Which is not truly my home 

For I have lost 

Understanding of my family 

My cousins and my grandmother 

Live at a distance 

And we only have faces 

To remind us of our ancestry 

I wish I could speak 

My native language 

I wish I had the accent 

Of a girl who has just arrived 

From the place she would have stayed 

When born 

But left because opportunity 

Seemed more inviting 

I never knew 

How much sacrifice 

And compromise this change 

Would make 

To my identity 

Sailing, Sailing 

I wish I was on 

A rocking boat 

On the majestic blue sea 

Feeling the spray of the sea foam 

Like Poisedon’s touch 

Greeting me 

I shall feel every rock and dip 

Like the body of my partner past 

I shall greet it warmly 

With a lovers caress 

My feet will dance above the gallows 

I’ll have my hands wide open 

Embracing the oceans that meet me 

I’ll spin in circles 

Hoping for typhoons 

Hoping for hurricanes 

To come wreck me 

I’ll dance a love song 

With the waves 

As they rush past 

I’ll steer to any destination 


My heart will never anchor 

I shall sail

Sail across the sea 

I’m just doing it for me.


And I try so hard 

To control my emotions 

To control my reactions 

To control my thoughts 

I’m a raging hurricane 

And all I am 

Is lost 

To what I could be 

There is no calm 

In this eye 

And it’s beholder 

Is lost to their fancy 

I am lost 

In my own life 

And I can’t live 

Till I set myself 



I try to cinch 

The noose around 

My thoughts tighter 

I try to cinch the waist 

Of my body 

I try to quell the 

Curiosity in my brain 

I try to remain calm 

When I’m raging 

What I have learned 

Is to 

Be hard on myself.

One Moment at a Time

Today I got to 

Spend time with someone 


I wholly 

Put myself out there 

With no restrictions 

I didn’t worry 

About the time 

Nor about what I wanted 

I listened 

And asked questions 

I walked with them 

side by side 

And chose to hear 

Their story 

I don’t regret

A single moment

No More Fantasies 

    And I will choose 
    I will choose not to
    An imanginary
    Person beside me.
    I will choose 
    I will choose 
    To believe in
    I will choose to believe in 

    I will choose 
    Not to obsess 
    About things out of control 
    Nor imagine 
    What could be.
    No more fantasies.
    I live in my reality.
    I choose 
    Who I am.