Dark skin sprinkled with beauty marks
Four-feet-eleven-inches but taller,
Immensely taller, than her five-foot-six wambras,1
Who walk behind her carrying bags, in her shadow.
We wonder if she’s aware of her forgiving sweet aura
Her aura which draws many near
We wonder if she is still scared
Scared of the great unknown.
When she walks toward the sand-colored wall, her hunch is noticeable
Curved and overbearing but entirely her own.
She gets up too fast from the Spanish benches and starts to limp
But shoos away our helping hands, pride consuming her.
We wonder how her stories have evolved over the years
We wonder about the original versions of the edited ones we still hear
We wonder about her river of acceptance
The river that has the potential to grow into an ocean.
The columns dedicated to the lightning god
Lay crumbling behind her loud purple shirt
The frozen Gargoyles lose their staring contest with her
For they cannot face her serious stare for too long.
We wonder if she will stick around to watch us embark on similar journeys
The ones filled with love and hardship, hope and silencing sorrow
We wonder if we will inherit her immeasurable resilience
The kind that leaves us dumbfounded.
When she walks she only looks back to see if we have fallen behind.
Sometimes it is hard to keep up with her
For the steps she takes are larger than life,
For the steps she takes are larger than ones we ever could.
Maya and Sofia Mesh are sisters from New York City. When they wrote this poem, Maya was a senior at Millennium High School, and Sofia was a 10th grader at The Computer School.