To celebrate World Poetry Day, we’re featuring a heart-swelling, award-winning poem on one second grader’s profound multicultural experience around the world.
Safi is an American girl who loves karate, traveling, studying art and science, and is a writer and published illustrator (yes, she is still young enough to ride in a car booster seat). Though her poem, “The Multiracial Child,” has won four awards, this is the very first time it’s being published. It is her story in verse about her worldwide roots, civil rights heritage, and life through the eyes of a 21st century mixed-race American girl.
The Multiracial Child
I am from the bold-eyed snowy owl, from digital apples, and lucid dreaming.
I am from star-blind Los Angeles, the city of never-ending noise.
I am from the lavender fields of Germany.
I am from Sunday family fun and multiracial Americans,
From Torres and Hamilton and Mayberry and Hill,
From Wong and Vanderbilt and Edwards and more still.
I am from the blood of strong women and a tribe of smiling eyes.
From the Moroccan escape artist and the sky divers.
I have been around the sun almost eight times and I still don’t know where I’m going,
But it’s an adventure.
I am from my nana who was the boss of 60 people—men, women, whites, and
Blacks—in a time when black women had just finished fighting
For the right to sit on the front of the bus.
I am from decorative memory boxes, Facebook moments,
And falling stacks of bitter-sweet albums.
I’m from the Seoul-ful, colorful land of South Korea;
I have traveled across the Atlantic and the Pacific,
And my ancestors, many more, for we are from five continents.
I am a child of the world.
Isn’t that a powerful piece of poetry?
Imagine if Safi’s ancestors embraced xenophobia instead of inclusion or hate instead of love. What if they were denied entrance into the United States? There would be no Safi. There wouldn’t be a lot of us.
Although this is an international parenting community, what’s going on here has a ripple effect. We want to hear how you’re impacted too.
The next 4-8 years will affect our children’s lives in the States and abroad. Don’t they deserve to be heard?