A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY ALINA HUSAIN
What is a memory you hold close to you from when you were young?
One of my first memories is of my parents being threatened with a gun.
We were driving back home to Alabama, stopped somewhere in Mississippi,
I was only two years old, my sister was five,
Even two little girls sobbing wouldn’t stop him from howling.
All he could see was that our skin had a little more color in it than his did.
Was he jealous?
“Go back to your own country!” he yelled,
Creating one of the first memories I held.
This is my country.
This is my home.
America is all I have EVER known.
When did America, the “land of the free” become such a clique?
This is OUR country.
This is OUR home.
This is our platform-,
For the ones who don’t fear difference,
The ones who aren’t driven by ignorance,
Let’s come together with our voices and show them
what the “land of the free” is supposed to mean.
Alina Husain of Tempe, AZ is 15 years old. She says this poem is simply something she had to write. As an American with a Pakistani ethnicity, she’s experienced several instances of racism, but this poem is based on one particular instance which stood out because she was too young when it occurred to know anything about the concept.