i wish . . .
i, a woman of the West –
not an Anglo-Saxon, mind you!
Still, a woman of the West . . .
or so they tell me
because i look white, you see . . .
A mother of one and a grandmother of two;
blessed in childhood, youth, and old age too;
blessed to the extent that too many on Earth
are not even given the chance once to unearth.
For, i had my birth-country’s freedom and support.
As for my parents and extended family . . .
Ah, what a blessing in luxurious serenity!
When you hear me speak today in decent health
about how incredibly i have been blessed by life,
make no mistake, my little angel, i had many a plight
but none, as i sense from my being’s core, could come close
to the ordeals, trials, tribulations and ills you now face.
While i am telling you about how well-to-do i was,
i have no intent to even hint at monetary wealth –
for i did not have it then, nor do i now.
My family barely made do, but never had to bow
before any hardship life had in store for us.
Struggles were there all along. Yes.
Still, my brother and i have always known we did belong.
A safe, loving and caring environment was always there,
ready and able to help us through thick and thin to bear
our world’s incongruous challenges, tests, cruel offerings.
Throughout it all, schools were aplenty.
Schools for one, schools for all.
No child was forced to prematurely fall.
Also for the underprivileged, learning was free.
You, however, my little angel, face much strife.
All along, you keep deep inside that incredible drive,
that urge to make it happen no matter what, where or how.
The times are changing, a change must come now!
Tell me, oh, please tell me, what i can do!
With all my might, i want to be there for you!
i know . . .
these are mere words,
and as such they don’t say much,
but i write all of this to you from my being’s core,
and my intent derives its source from the depth of my soul.
So, will you open the gate to your tender heart and let me in?
Only then could you and i start building our learning blocks
in order to allow our spirits’ reunion to begin . . .
© hülya n. yılmaz, March 23, 2019
~ ~ ~
Phanice Achieng, a beautiful 12-year old girl from Busia, Kenya has read this poem on June 16, 2019 on the International Day of the African Child. Unfortunately, I have not been able to attend the poetry and culture festival honoring African children. A video recording of Ms. Achieng’s reading of my “i wish”, however, has been made available on social media. Others who had submitted their poems on the occasion of the said festival have also been provided with a video clip of their own work being read by a different child each time.