Accent 

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 parent’s 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.

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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, aunts, and uncles

That have created their homes

Is a bitter reminder

That our struggles will never be the same.

To be faraway

From a country where patriarchal views

Dominate

And education while present

Is lacking quality

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 separates us,

We sail away from our country

To be faraway from the land

Known as a terrorist hub.

Misguided opinions and misinformation

Aplenty by the media,

I swallow a bitter pill and

Become cautious and careful

Of where I 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

Is a bittersweet reminder

That all freedom comes with sacrifice.

As I sit still,

In the land of the free

And the home of the brave,

I wonder if

We even deserve these names?

For I 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

Faraway?

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 

Cancer

And it may be unfortunate 

But I believe that cancer 

Is our most important fight 

For social justice 

For anyone

Regardless

 of creed, origin, ethnicity, race or gender 

Could be afflicted with this illness 

If something has to bring together our 

Humanity 

Then this shall be it. 

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 

Possible 

My heart will never anchor 

I shall sail

Sail across the sea 

I’m just doing it for me.

Lost 

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 

Free.

Self-Aware 

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 

Different.

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 
    Now.
    I will choose not to
    Imagine 
    An imanginary
    Person beside me.
    I will choose 
    Me.
    I will choose 
    To believe in
    struggles,
    I will choose to believe in 
    Myself.



    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.