Manual High Student Poems: Preferred Sides

Preferred Sides

By Adrianna Delgado
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    Manual High Student Poems: Preferred Sides KGNU News


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

Preferred Sides
By: Adrianna Delgado

I have always dreamed of standing out
Of being seen and being heard.
Not forgotten.
I have dreamed of belonging. Of home.
Dreamed of feeling whole.

Born to a
White mother
Mexican father

Living with my auntie and my cousins
I straddle two worlds
like legs dangling on either side of the fence.

White: Big house, full fridge, clean, quiet, calm. White picket fences. Suburbs.
Mexican: Small house, crowded, five primos squeezed into a small bedroom, living in the hood.

I have always dreamed of one day helping my family get out the east side
Dreamed that one day my younger cousins would be given more opportunity than me
Dreamed that just because we sometimes go hungry doesn’t mean we will starve
Dreamed that just because we have been silenced doesn’t mean we can’t speak.
Dreamed that just because this world is broken doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed.

But sometimes these dreams are interrupted by the nightmare of our reality.
The reality of racism, poverty, sexism, classism.
A lost country, trying to find its way
Using the same maps that got us lost in the first place.

Unarmed Eric Garner killed in a chokehold
Unarmed Michael Brown shot 6 times
Unarmed Oscar Alberto Ramirez lies dead from a shot to the back along the train tracks in Los Angeles.

But James Holmes and Robert Dear are both taken into custody alive.
So now tell me… why is it that unarmed black and brown men are more dangerous than a white armed murderer?

Tell me why when we walk into the corner store at lunch eyes track our every move waiting to see us steal.
Tell me why young men of color in my neighborhood must join a gang to feel a sense of belonging.
Tell me why statistics say young women of color are more likely to drop out than graduate from college.
Tell me why at basketball games white players call Manual players Negroes.

It has been too long.
Today, I refuse to be forgotten.
We have dreamed too long of being seen.

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    Manual High Student Poems: Preferred Sides KGNU News

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