With This We Can Grow

As you get older, you tend to see the truth in your town.

People you saw as heroes become the villains hiding in the gutters seeking revenge.

I learned that my town is broken.

I have seen it crumbling under my feet for seventeen years now.

Even though this is true -I have also learned in my seventeen years, that there is a lot of beauty in broken things.


I see it in my mother's eyes as she sends my brother outside to get in the devil's car.

As his guilty hands slam the door to the beaten down SUV, his whisper travels out of his sinful mouth and wraps around her body -

“I hope you die on the way to pick him up”

I see her eyes glisten with pain; however, her crystal blue eyes have never been clearer.


I see it in the way my brother clings to my mom because he does not want to go to his father's.

I see it in his face as he waves to us through the rolled up window.

As they pull out onto the road, his smile starts to fade and all that is left to see is his gentle arm wrapping around his little sister - although he is only six, he is her guardian for the next two days.


I see it in the bags under my best friends eyes.

It is a sign of another sleepless night.

As her father's drunken screams bounce off the walls, she pulls out her notebook and makes a list of all the things she can do to get out of this hell she forced to call a home as fast as she can.

She is sad but her cheeks still tint with the lightest shade of pink as the love of her life kisses the tears away and for a second - she feels content.  


I see it in the girl who sits in front of my history class.

I see the way her eyes fill with regret as soon as she opens her mouth to talk but all that is heard is the laughter of the twenty-three children staring at her brightly dyed hair.

She has chosen the color red; it reminds her of a sunset she saw when she was seven, laying in the back of her father’s truck as her mother sang her songs of a better life.


I want to share my mother’s strength.

My neighbors could benefit from all of her lessons and wise words she has to offer.

With this we can grow.


I want to share my brother's bravery.

We can fight back and stand up for what we deserve.

Show everyone that we have a voice and we are no longer going to silence it.

With this we can grow.


I want to share my best friends hope.

Hope is small thing but it is dangerous; feed it to the people and nothing can stop us.

With this we can grow.


I want to share the courage of the girl who sits in the front row.

I want the world to fear us.

I want the world to see us and be scared because they know something big is happening.

I want the oppressed people of my town to rise up and say

“We are here and we are worthy”

With this we can grow.


My town is broken.

But I have chosen to not see it this way.

Beauty is in every crack of this town and that is what I want to focus on.

I focus on the strengths of our people because that is what’s going to help us.

Nothing gets done if we stand still;

and we refuse to stand still.

And because of this -

We will grow.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community


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