We will rise

Around the world, young people are protesting the corrupt powers that control them–in Lebanon, Chile, Hong Kong, Iraq and my native Palestine. Pain and frustration drive them, but in this passion lies our hope.

I am in a deep, wide ocean,
with high, choppy waves
overwhelming my small boat.
I capsize, and freezing water
sloshes around my neck,
sucking me in.

It’s thundering and lightening above.
I see nothing but water
and steel-gray sky.

It seems impossible
to go forward or backward
all I can do is tread water.
I am losing hope.

A piece flotsam, splintery wood
floats close to my exhausted body.
I grasp at it with my numb fingers.

Like a warrior with a sword,
I feel a jolt of strength,
but then a new wave crashes over me,
pulling me in deeper.

I am underwater,
not like a mermaid,
but a mammal used to land,
drowning in loneliness and sorrow.

I gasp for breath,
throwing up the water I swallow.
I float, my fingertips
barely reaching the boat

I howl…
No one answers.
I know now.
No one can help but myself.

I haul myself back in the boat,
beating back the exhaustion,
and paddle toward shore.

I will be safe,
as long as I am strong enough
to fight.

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Mentor: Pam Bailey

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