Can You Hear Me?

I’m in kindergarten

And everyone makes fun of me 

Because my tongue sounds unique compared to theirs

Like a violin in the middle of a marching band

I cry when I don’t understand my teachers

Cry out a tragic prelude

While the roar of drums drown out the sound

They’re all pounding—screaming—for me to get it right

Just because I can’t read their words or speak their language

Can they speak mine?

 

I’m in middle school

And everyone knows that I’m different

Lost in a sea of confusion,

Should I blindly swim towards my peers’ fading sails

Or tread water near my island of culture

Just out of reach?

Still, my foreign dialect shows through

They take turns guessing where I’m from,

Make harmless jokes and copy my accent

I wish I could copy theirs

 

I’m in highschool

And everyone calls me their friend

They put aside their negative assumptions

Only to use me as their shield of defense

Against the sharp, accusational sword of racism

Go ahead

Use me as your comfort, use me as your safety

Don’t dare let your guard down 

And let everyone else bare witness to your fragility

What would you do without me?

 

I'm in college

And everyone compliments me:

“You speak English pretty well, for an immigrant”

To them, I’m still foreigner

Am I not American enough?

Unlike me, 

They did not have to be subjected 

Through years of pain and ridicule

—A victim to racial prejudice— 

To receive a seemingly innocuous excuse of a complement

 

I am more than just the way words rolls off my tongue

I am more than the assumptions you make based off the color of my skin

I am more than what you see and hear on the outside

And so are you

This poem is about: 
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

Comments

CatsAndOwls

I submitted this for a Reflections contest held in my communtiy, and thought I should share it here as well.

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