Ode to Poetry

By Sarah Salemy ‘21

White foam sits on the sand.

The tiny grains slip through

my hands because I cannot

grasp or grapple with

what my identity means

to me—means to this

whitewashed world.

I ponder my ancestors’

lives that became whited

out in all the textbooks

we deem as true history.

A version that stole and

drove my kind into

the ground.

I have drowned—

been watered down

by people’s false

accusations and



The sea is filled with


Depths that no one truly


My feet dangle off the

edge of a cliff while

I long to make just a

ripple in this great

big ocean of a world.

As I walk this fine line,

a battle inside my mind,

I realize I am more than

what people project me

to be.

I have had to rise above

my obstacles—how

people would stare,

I’d ignore their glares, and

break the suffocating silence.

Hear the cadence in my

voice as I proclaim that

my bones could have,

should have,

became remains.

But here I stand—

I still remain.

Here I breathe and

walk among the

educators of the world.

Here I teach and reach

students of different

backgrounds—listen to

the sounds of our stories

rise from the background

as we begin to acknowledge

and accept our differences.

As we begin to celebrate our

beautiful scars and flaws.

Here in poetry we

express our opinions

and go beyond the shore,

deep into the waters of

knowledge and discovery.

Here in poetry we

explore and uncover

what it means to be human.

What it means to learn.

What it means to love.

What it means to lead.

Hidden Cave

Jane Greenip ‘22