Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Writing to Protest

Last Monday we listened to protest music and wrote our own versions of protest poems. Two of the teens finished poems to share with you. Both poets write from another point of view. The first poet takes on the challenge of revealing one's true self. The second poet takes on the traditional values for women. After you read these poems, think about this: what do you want to protest? Write it down.

Take A Look
by Aliza Mendoza, age 16

Who am I?
When you look at me what do you see?
Shy and quiet girl.
Would you believe me when I say
It's just a show.
Should I tell you my story
to make you understand.
Should I shed this pretense
and show you who I really am.
Should I let the tears fall
to show how much it hurts.
Should I pull up my shirt
for the scars to appear.
Should I cut myself
just to prove I'm still here.
Look at me now.
Who am I?
Let me know,
so I can prove you wrong.
It's not me you see
but someone else, totally different.
Can I touch your arm
and you can feel my skin.
Can I hold you close
and for a second escape the world I live in.
Can I let you go
and fall into darkness.
Can I return home
for him to beat me once more.
Can I cry out
and finally close up cold to core.
Take a glance.
Who am I?

by Ruthie Matthews II, age 15

You expect me to submit to you
And not do what I want to do
I have to dress up and look pretty
And I can only be your boo
When I pout on sweats
To you I look a mess
So I go back upstairs to get dressed
Only when I'm pretty will your mind rest.

Someone gets me a job
Finally I can stand up and be proud
'Cause I'll be able to support myself
But when you see my dream
You become keen
On tearing it down
You say I'm only hear to be pretty.

So I can't achieve personal success.
I am so frail, you say, I can only rest.
But when I get pregnant
you say it's for the best
And tell me to sit down and rest
Pregnant, barefoot, in a dress
I birth, feed, and take care of your children
While you sit back and chill.
And yet every evening
When I feel like I'm going to reel
I still have to perk up and be pretty,
pretending my wounds have healed.

Old and grey
With no successes to display
except for my grown kids.
Alone with you
There's nothing to do
Except get up and try to look pretty.

Life has now gone
And with death I'm all alone
Now I can't even look pretty.
Because of you, now all I know to do
Is continue to try and look pretty.