Small feet play around the playground
Bright blue curious eyes,
Hair as blonde as a flame.
The flame dances,
It has seen joy.
by mother and father
And grows bigger into a fire
Burning like thousand suns.
Rain comes in
It has seen fear,
The flame flickers.
Scared when mother and father are nowhere to be seen,
hides from the world
This small light still shown.
A wrinkly veiny hand grasps a cane.
eyes almost shut
it has seen enough of the world.
Hair grey as a cloud.
Still a light.
Until the cloud brings the storm,
and the flame burns out.
I know they can hear me
hear my cries through the fields
sun blistering my chocolate face
my people in sorrow
I know they can hear me.
I know they can see me
but them white folk don’t feel them pricks on cotton
they can’t see under our masks of black
or our fathers and mothers
and sisters and brothers
from the love beneath our skin
I know they can see me.
I know it’s intentional
beating us from sun to moon
forced labor in conditions not wanted
same bending over work
they want more from the “worthless”
I know it’s intentional.
It is us who shout for our pain
us who plead for rest
us who stand for freedom
Hope is what we have
We hold our ground and fight but they won’t listen.
I know they can hear us
they choose to avoid,
hear our pain
hear our cries
What I don’t know is why they neglect.
Must be easier to blind our hope now.
Why can’t I control something as small as a thought- in my mind?
How can something I have full power over, create things I don’t?
Like a programmed robot driving and steering your mind.
Is that a bad thing?
Some just appear.
Some take time.
Like a sudden drop of a hammer.
Or like sand slowly drifting into the glass for hours.
How do they appear?
Does what we see, and what we do affect our thoughts?
Is that the only power we have?
Influence is like fuel.
To a machine in your head with unknown gears.
When I am stuck.
And I have no thoughts.
What happens to the gears?
Lack of inspiration?
Why does the free mind of uncontrollable mystery
act like a caged monster?
Why does my mind decide to give me these thoughts?
Is it a gift?
Is it a curse?
Is the machine trying to tell me something?
Rhea Ahluwalia is a thirteen year old girl who goes to the Spence School in New York city. She has been avid writer since the 4th grade and always loves learning new styles of poetry. Rhea has been a involved participant in English class as she has many opinions about reading and writing in class. Her favorite book in particular is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. She adores the idea of a blank page and is eager to frequently pour out her feelings in writing. Rhea is a teachable student who takes criticism well in anything she does from volleyball practices, to writing an essay. She loves trying new things like traveling to a new place with her family. Stepping out of her comfort zone gives her endless memories to keep and sometimes write about. Rhea is a determined, hardworking writer that pushes herself to be the best that she can be. All in all, Rhea will continue to improve on her writing for years to come.