by Aaliyah Jaleel (Canada)
Audio: "Faded Memory," read by Aaliyah Jaleel
That sun-kissed evening in 1914,
The sky met the horizon melting blue and green.
My heart was grey.
How rude of the sky to project beauty and brightness when
The lightness of my life was being dimmed by such a crisis,
When my brother and father cannot see any horizon,
When their sky only contains black bits of bombs in different sizes.
The war would be quick,
We were promised
Just a short while from August,
Four or five rough months of fighting
For the Central Force demolished.
They broke their promise
“Home before Christmas” was awfully ambitious,
Left families and friends with plans that turned to be fictitious.
Anticipation of the mail brought chewed up fingernails
That stuttered upon the envelopes and letters that entailed
Fingers crossed in hopes that loss would not be written between the lines,
That there’d be signs of quick return so they’d disperse from the front lines.
That my fear came true on the day that two postcards turned into one,
Because my brother, God rest his soul, was a soldier braver than anyone and
My father wrote to me that he would see to the end of this cruel war.
He swore that every shot he took was bringing him closer to me at home.
He never got here.
November eleventh of nineteen eighteen,
hearts beating as they were reading the armistice that would seam
Our torn apart country and our lonely hearted dreams.
We respect the noble win of our veterans
That pioneered with eyes of tears the Canada we now live in.
An embodiment of valour they led our country with pride,
With poppies on our chests, lest we forget how they died.
Aaliyah Jaleel, age 17, is a passionate writer from Pickering, Ontario, who loves writing, sharing, and performing poetry. Dedicated to leadership and community development, Aaliyah enjoys engaging with extracurricular commitments to create change on both a local and global scale. “Faded Memory” depicts the story of a young individual whose world was shaken by the impacts of the First World War, their perspective illustrating the pain of witnessing such an event. The story told is a vivid image of what many experienced in the aftermath of the calamity.
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5/17/22, 4:27 PM
5/16/22, 11:40 AM
I am waiting with anxiety what does she doesto fight back these things which are very complicate to handle for a teenager...... I am Very anxious because I am in the same situation..... So I want to know what will she do.....
5/15/22, 3:16 PM
This is such a wonderful piece. I love it so much!
Rain Wind Thunderstorm
5/13/22, 10:46 AM
You are really good at writing. And at such a young age! If you don't mind me saying so, your writing style is warm and cozy. And also at the same time, very deep, meaningful and relatable. I especially loved the "The Reflection" part.
5/13/22, 9:28 AM
I really wanna know what does she does to fight back these things which are hard to handle for a teenager.
5/11/22, 2:37 PM
I loved every word of this. Maybe because I am relating too hard. I hardly possess any of the love or filial piety I am expected to have towards my family. I am dubious of anything my grandmother says to me and have long learned to just swallow it all with a smile though I question how much I know. And. Just. Knowing. That you will be forgotten by your extended family for the rest of the year but still held up to their expectations. Thank you for writing this! I'll always remember a beautiful #ownvoices story :).
5/10/22, 6:57 AM
I really am curious about how she is gonna fight this situation and will she be able to fulfill her dreams which she once had
5/6/22, 2:03 PM
Ooh I really love this! What a great ending too. Fellow students, we've got this!
5/6/22, 1:53 PM
I love this piece so much. Novels and writing rarely makes me cry, but this was just too relatable.
5/6/22, 1:51 PM
This was so beautiful, and created such a detailed image in my mind!
5/6/22, 11:35 AM
I thought that was a truly insightful piece. As a teen writer myself, your words were a refreshing reminder of the meaning behind adolescence. Thank you for bringing your writing into the world, and hope to see more of it soon.