Seed of the Next Generation

I am the second-generation seed

Of the flower my ancestors planted

My grandparents—born and raised in Jamaica—

Traveled to Ellis Island

To nourish a new garden


I don't struggle like they struggled:

Wrestling with looming trees,

Just to see a bit of sunlight,

Tangling their roots into

U.S. soil.


I struggle differently;

I force myself to blossom before my peak,

Only to display underdeveloped petals.

I strive to prove my heritage

To show that I am black

I fight for my own patch of sunlight,

In a country that judges me:

Kills my brothers in the streets

And demands my allegiance.

I no longer stand

For the pledge.


Every day, I call on the strength

My grandfather must have had:

A flower embedding itself in foreign land,

Overshadowed by the looming trees.


I am the sapling my mother planted

Commanding my roots to stay,

Locked in the unwelcoming, unforgiving soil

Next to weeds that overwhelm me

And flowers trying to steal my light

I curve around the normal path

Between branches and leaves that to hold me back—

The limbs of society.


But I can't stop fighting,

For myself, for my family,

For the ones who will follow.

This poem is about: 
My family


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741