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
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.