Manual High School Student Poetry: Hear me, See me

Hear me, See me

by Annaliesse Garcia

Students from Manual High School in Denver visited KGNU recently to record some of their poetry. In their 10th grade American Literature class, the students have been writing, discussing, and reading about “The American Dream”. They’ve been inspired to write their own poetry on this theme. KGNU will be featuring these poems throughout January.


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    Manual High School Student Poetry: Hear me, See me kgnu


I am the new America.

Stuck between
who I am and
how others perceive me
In your eyes,
I am not American

I should not hear
my substitute teacher say,
“I shouldn’t have to pay taxes for kids like you.”
Who are
kids like me?
You assume because my skin
is brown that I am
violent and dangerous that I’m
in a gang.

scribbled angrily
in her sub notes.

How is it that I can lack humanity?
Is it because, to you, I am an alien?
To you,
I am a

Even though the only life I’ve known has been here.
Beginning October 18, 1998 11:52pm
Born in Denver Health Hospital
to a 16-year-old girl raped
by a 30-year-old man.

My grandmother gave him permission.

The day my mom tried to leave, my father
took her shoes.
She walked miles along a snow-covered sidewalk
bare feet
with pain.

The day I was born, she was asked:
“Are you sure you should keep the baby?”
“You can’t do this on your own.”
Her reply: silent.
She raised me
knowing she planted her
strength in me.
She raised me
to stand strong
like her
on my own
two feet.

You would never know my story.
Our segregated communities
breed fear
instead of understanding.
You cannot listen
to me, Hear me
until you can see me.
See me for who
I really am instead of who
you assume
I will be.

Stories define us. They are maps
that guide us. We can’t rely on
false judgments
Hear me. Hear my
story, the true story of
who I am. See me
as human.
as a your sister.

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    Manual High School Student Poetry: Hear me, See me kgnu

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