2022 High School Poetry Contest, 5th Place Winner


5th Place: Sarah-Lyse Kirsteen Exume

Senior, Wellington Community High School





This Side of My Skin

On one I’m seen as a pioneer for freedom,

but here I’m a threat to safety.

The most exotic and diverse,

here persecuted and looked down upon, treated as inferior.

My hair is considered a crest of beauty and grows towards the sun,

but to some, it’s considered raggedy and nappy

I come from the smartest and bravest of people,

but here we are considered uneducated and undeveloped

I speak with style and make people laugh,

but they say it’s unprofessional.

I speak with confidence and earn my respect,

it’s seen as being loud and angry.

We come up with amazing ideas, styles, and things,

but credit is not given where it’s due.

I walk by myself,

“Keep an eye out. Be careful.”

I get tears in my eyes,

I just want attention.

I open up and tell you my pain,

they laugh, say it’s just for likes, and toss it aside.

Whichever side you pick,

I hope it still allows you to see the real me.