By Ileana “Kiki” Salcedo
As I moved from small town to big city
I took a look around and noticed something.
Many roaming faces
Carved like the survivors of a war.
As I went to the store, I seen something that made my stomach ache.
Two young boys
deprived of their dignity
asking for food
Scars crossed their faces
Scars from roaming the streets.
As I left them I began to carry a scar of my own.
Their hungry faces, looking into the shop behind me.
As I went home I seen something
Walking the hot pavement with no shoes.
I looked down at my own feet and noticed how much more polished they were.
They carried me
Safe from the exposure that litters the city's floor.
As I walked into the bookstore of my school
I heard a girl cry
Filled with panic as she could not pay for a book she needed.
I looked into my wallet and seen I had more than enough.
As I went to class
I saw my classmates
Armed with headphones and mics
Listening to stories of those that I’ve seen.
Collecting their history
Collecting for the world to see who these people
Are truly meant to be.
And cared for.
When we see, we assume
When we listen, we understand
What I see is a new future.
Making its way to lift its people.
Storytelling in power
Experiencing life with strength
A shift that teaches liberation is in self
That liberation is in communities
That is what I see