“A Few Blades of Grass” by Zainab Al-Bahadli

 

A Few Blades Of Grass

I was born to a seaglass house
Softened by the rough edges of the sea,
Chipped and clouded though it was
I was born.
Upon my birth I shattered it
Gripping a dagger and a forget-me-not.
I was born in a well
Filled to the brim with gold paint
And sand
Pouring into my mouth
So that I could no longer cry.
Bricks jutting out from all angles.
I was born an almost-but-not-quite-put-out cigarette
Flicked out a car window
That they thought couldn’t do any real damage
But watch me burn.
I was born with the scars of my family tree
Impressed upon my ribcage.
I was born to a castle
Doorways shadowed by those rich
Not in money
But in words.
I was born in a desert
I was caught in a shrub
I was born.


Zainab Al-Bahadli wrote this poem while she was a student at Roosevelt High School, with WITS Writer Emily Bedard. She performed this poem at the Seattle Arts & Lectures 2016/17 Poetry series with Ada Limón, October 5th, 2016. 

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