National Poetry Month, 2019
Winner of the Greenburgh Public Library's Teen Poetry Contest
Dalia Roshal, 1st place winner
When the World is spinning Out of Control
by Dalia Roshal, 15
There are times when silence is more powerful than noise.
But sometimes, when the world is spinning out of control, you just need to scream.
But you can’t.
Your voice catches in your throat as tears stream from your eyes because you’ve had enough of this --
The world has shattered.
And women and girls are being abused and assaulted every day
and you hear about your friends being catcalled while walking to school
and you can’t think of a single girl you know that hasn’t said “me too”
and there is nothing you can do except hope your voice is heard.
And a swastika has been spotted just a block away from your friend’s school
and swastikas have been painted in the elevators in your brother’s college
and antisemitism is everywhere.
And you can’t even scream.
That’s how useless you are.
And you still hear the word “gay” used as an insult even though it’s 2019 --
And all you want to do is close your eyes and snap out of reality until 2020
when maybe the world will start making sense again.
But you realize that closing your eyes isn’t the solution and will never be.
Because you want to be aware of what’s going on.
You want to show up to protests, you want to march through the streets
with people who are just as furious as you,
people who want immediate change.
And that won’t happen until you open your eyes.
Still, opening your eyes won’t make you old enough to vote.
Whenever there’s an election, you feel sick,
because you’re terrified that the adults with the power to lead this country forward
will use their votes to throw us even deeper into chaos.
And you’re scared nobody will listen to you because you’re too young
to have been let down so many times by the people who hold a pen in one hand
and a ballot in the other,
or worse, the people who couldn’t be bothered to show up to vote.
And everything comes rushing back to you.
You remember that you were still hopeful after
November 2016, and you realize how stupid you were
to think that things were going to be okay-
Because four years couldn’t be that long… could they?