I come from a place where women clean,
wash restrooms and dishes not forced but
For a better future.
I come from a place where dirt rushes through your
and nail polish don’t even matter.
I come from a place where your feet rush through
where shoes aren’t even worn
I come from a place where not enough food is cooked
where the smell of spicy food runs through the valleys.
I come from a place where women’s rights and education
I come from a place where babies are left in streets
abandoned and born in refugee camps.
I come from a place where survival is the only choice.
Kadra Haji came to the US when she was three years old. Her family fled war in Somalia and lived in a refugee camp in Kenya. After years of trying to come to the United States, they were finally accepted as refugees and moved to St. Louis. She grew up in St. Louis and attends school there. She is in ESOL classes at school to help perfect her English. At home she speaks Mai-Mai, it is the language of the Somali Bantu people. In middle school she joined a poetry club and loved it. Poetry helps her express her feelings about life.
“ I am Muslim, and I wear a hijab, I am African, I am American, I am a part of two different cultures-I love it, but it can be hard. Last year we studied poems by Warsan Shire, they really spoke to me, and I started writing again. Writing poems just doesn´t help me tell people who I really am but it also helps me understand who I really am. I see myself In the future one day helping make the world a better place.” (Kadra Haji)