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by LYAT MELESE (United States)

Issue 2.2    August 2020


Change is unexpected.

Like the day I was told we were moving to America.

The same day my cousin turned on the TV

and started dancing Eskista

just as she brought her hands to her hips

and started moving her shoulders

 . . . there was a power outage.

Just like that

the sound of the TV

and the home that I knew

were gone.


Change can hurt.

Like the day I stood on the porch

in the dark

an hour after the sunset

and hugged my grandmother goodbye.

The parasite sat on my chest,

clenched my tummy and lodged in my throat.

The same parasite that munched

on my fear

as my feet walked to the front of the classroom

on the first day of school.


Change is hope.

Hope that you will adapt,

that like a chameleon 

you will camouflage.

Hope like when I first stepped out of the airport

and my boots sunk into the snow

that maybe the edges of reality

aren’t as sharp, as unforgiving as they appear,

that even when I longed for the sun

somehow the snow was softer

. . . softer than it appeared.


Change is acceptance.

I miss my friends and I miss my home,

but that doesn’t mean

that the loud Indian girl on my bus

can’t be my friend

and that the townhouse on January Court

with the tree that grew strange fruit in the yard

can’t be my home.

Lyat Melese, 15, currently resides in Virginia. Her experiences living in Ethiopia, Switzerland, and now the US have given her a global perspective which she likes to express through her writing. Outside of writing, she is a biology enthusiast, a climate change activist, and a firm believer that dancing it out is the best way to relieve stress.

#Family       #Global Citizenship

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