Wij Zijn Hier/We Are Here

We are here
and you’d like to forget it,
have us more hidden
then our black faces
and tired, old eyes.

Isn’t it enough to leave
my own country as a teenager?
Isn’t it enough to run on
bare feet from my home
that is at war with itself?
Isn’t it enough to be homeless
For 16 years and carry the stories,
maps with holes where our cities were bombed?

Of Khatorum, 
Mogadishu, Awasa
Kabul, Mosul, Senafe.

No, I must get on my knees, 
already dirty from praying,
To ask you to see me.
I am not even asking for citizenship.
I have given up on that.
The nation that gives me rights will be my homeland.

I am asking for some water for my dry tongue
And pillow for my head so that my
hungry thoughts can dream.

I am asking you, to look at me, see me in the shadows
And in the light, as I search for life for my brothers.
As I search for life for myself.

See me because I am here, we are all here.
Sudan.
Somalia.
Eritrea.
Afghanistan. 
Syria.

We are here.
We are the sea.
We are the nations.

Each of us stronger than the wounds that were supposed to leave us poor.
Each of us alive with hope for our children to believe their voices carry power.
Each us ready for tomorrow, hands open, ready to go home.

Katelyn Durst

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