Since the beginning, the curls framing my face are my worst fault
As the banisters hung in my grandparents townhome
tell me as I metamorphosed. Childhood banter
is no longer pure so I must sit and close my legs
before I am scarred. I was taught to drape the white sheet
above me to disappear below, where no one can see the warmth
of my smile or figure of my body. I have learned
to hide away the brown skin but now I am nothing
but bullet-riddled. Filled with holes I am no longer
a little girl but an example to show
to my past self, who dared to feel the breeze
through her hair and feel the grass on her knees.
I am mocked by the world when the seasons change
and the child who dared to take in the lilac warmth
Of a world not meant for her. So I dwell to the
Sky holding me down and pick up a book
Marked with the fingerprints of my ancestors and
Claim my place in line to recite the words of
A language odd on my tongue as I mispronounce
Them like an American born teenager.
I am an imposter in this room. And when
I look in the mirror and I see a field of lilacs.
Tamia Hassan is a sixteen-year-old writer and journalist from Minneapolis. Her work has been published in Rising Phoenix Review and the Star Tribune. She is currently co-editor of her high school’s magazine. Other than poetry, she enjoys writing short stories, prose, and articles.