Monday, January 16, 2017

Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience – Olga Alexandru

Close up image of a microphone on a stage. The audience that is facing the microphone is blurred, appearing as a myriad of colors (red, white, green, yellow, etc.)
As the incoming administration builds its agenda of attack on marginalized people, on freedom of speech, on the earth itself, poetry will continue to be an essential voice of resistance. Poets will speak out in solidarity, united against hatred, systemic oppression, and violence and for justice, beauty, and community.

In this spirit, Split This Rock is offering its blog as a Virtual Open Mic. For the rest of this frightening month, January of 2017, we invite you to send us poems of resistance, power, and resilience.

We will post every poem we receive unless it is offensive (containing language that is derogatory toward marginalized groups, that belittles, uses hurtful stereotypes, etc.). After the Virtual Open Mic closes, we hope to print out and mail all of the poems to the White House.

For guidelines on how to submit poems for this call, visit the Call for Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience blog post


by Olga Alexandru

I don't know what it's like to have olive skin
in a country so pale
because it never occurred to me that it was different
so I tell myself, inhale

I know what it's like to wish
these brown eyes blue
because it's what I envied
wished for, too

I don't know what it's like to be Jane or Sarah
but I know what it's like to have extra letters in my name
that are undecipherable
without strain

I know what it's like to have English as my fourth language
but have it be the first now
to feel the lack of my mother tongue
and so often wonder, how?

When eyes are on me
I know what it's like to act tough
to keep the expression off my face
when you say this country's not big enough

I don't know how to be Romanian and Canadian at the same time
to not fit firmly in either box
to reconcile the in betweeness
so I wish someone would just open the doors and locks

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