I Sit In Math Class Thinking

Author: Ayisha Ferguson

I sit in math class thinking
What would it have been like?
If we had stayed instead of fleeing like scared mice.

America isn’t bad
But it’s not the same.
In Kurdistan everyone was alike
Like peas in a pod.
It was ok for a while.
Then 9/11 came
Everyone stared at me like some freak in cage.

The mean ones called me names like
“Psyco” and “Monster”
They said my people need to go back to where we belong
And stay away from where we do not.
It felt as lonely as an animal in a cage.

Questions bubbled like boiling water
Where do I belong?
Not here and not there.
I had a house
A school
A neighborhood
But not a place to call home.

How can this be home
If I am not wanted?
How can this be home
If I am an outcast?

How can this be home
If my home is Kurdistan?

Overview of student project:

Eighth grade English students at KIPP DC: KEY Academy considered the challenges of fictional and real refugees in their fall unit, centered around a study of the novel Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. The novel tells the story of a young Vietnamese girl and her family who are forced to flee their home during the fall of Saigon and ultimately begin to build a new life for themselves in Alabama. At the end of the unit, students used their knowledge of free verse poetry to write their own narrative poems that captured the universal refugee experience.

 

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