This is one of my first spoken word pieces. I wanted to post this today because I’m going to be performing it tonight at an event.
I don’t like performing it because it does bring me to the edge and sometimes to tears. And that’s why i want to post it so I won’t have to perform it as much and the girl’s story in the piece can get more exposure.
I love my work,
but sometimes reality can get too heavy.
I started my hour and a half commute like every day.
Driving to the station, taking the train then biking to the office.
My morning began by reading essays from highschoolers applying for scholarships to Nara Bank.
The Rubric, spelling punctuation and organization.
Immediately I felt like something was wrong.
Spelling, punctuation and organization.
No where was it written that we actually look for the content of these essays,
Or peak into the soul of these students.
Spelling punctuation and organization were god,
So writing a safe essay about sunshine and rainbow’s the American dream, patriotism and hard work with PERFECT Grammar.
Would be defined as the winner.
I am skeptical by nature so I approach these essays with distance and mockery,
Because I know that half of what goes into a scholarship application… is bullshit.
I am in a position of power where what I write down can determine if these young gifted minds will receive the money they need for school.
Their futures rest in my hands, and they will never meet me.
I read stories of sacrifice and triumphs against all odds,
I also read a lot of bullshit.
But one story sticks with me.
This application is written from a girl in Queens,
She has a single mother who takes care of her and their annual income is $8,700 a year.
That includes rent, that includes utilities, that includes food.
Her story unfolds before me.
Since she was 3 she has been molested by her father.
The man charged with protecting and providing for his little girl took advantage of her dependence upon him.
Instilling within her fear and mistrust of any man that would approach her,
Wondering if he too would force himself upon her.
You see, oppressors don’t always have to be rich.
The social worker assigned to her case only worsened the situation.
The mother who could only speak Korean had to translate through her 15 year old daughter.
Unfortunately it’s still PC to make fun of ACCENTS.
so the social worker who has the ENGLISH ONLY complex laughs her way right out of the case,
dismissing it because this 15 year old girl waited too long to tell anybody.
A 15 year old girl waited too long to tell the authorities that she has been molested by a man that terrifies her.
The man who is waiting for her to come home,
The man who sleeps 4 feet away from her bed.
The girl dreams about escaping and going to college.
She dreams of what that education can bring to her and what life would be like WITHOUT Fear.
About liberating herself from her situation and not having to live in poverty anymore.
She has kept her grades up DESPITE EVERYTHING.
And Achieved more than what most would even attempt.
As my eyes reach the end of the page she asks for help,
Because school isn’t free,
As it used to be.
She says Help me,
And I want to do more.
I want to reach through the page to break into her world just to hold her and tell her,
“Everything will be alright,”
and I want to believe it.
I want to beat the shit out of the man who touched her with his filthy hands,
I want to send that fucking social worker to Iran where speaking English could get you killed.
I want to put her mother up in a loft in J-town where her biggest worry would be what color to paint the walls.
I want to send this girl to any school she wants with enough money so that she will never have to worry about bills or starving again.
I want to wash away all of her pain and give her memories from a happy childhood because she never had one.
I want to tell her to her face that she is a queen from queens,
And she has rocked her crown every day that she continues to struggle and breathe.
But I can’t ,
Because I’m 3 thousand miles away.
And my job requires me to give a grade based on spelling punctuation and organization.
So I give her the highest score possible and send it with the hope that the next person to read her story will look past the Rubric and into this girls heart.
To see what I saw,
To be moved by words that pierced the soul.
I find comfort in believing that her fight for life has trained her to beat anything that life throws her way.
And I hope that the next man that she meets,
Will do right by her,
That he will support her and give her the love,
That her father was supposed to.
Then Perhaps, some form of justice will have prevailed.