Volume 2: Issue 2
By: Sydney, age 14, NC
Why can’t I stand up and say,
This is wrong
Because the rest of the world is blind to the fact
That it isn’t right.
The problems that they have created in this world
Call to them
But they are deaf to its thunderous voice
Why can’t I solve the issue of
why we are viewed differently,
Based on the color of our skin?
The never-ending problem
The equation that has no answer key
Why is it that the world is blind to many problems,
They can still see the slightly darker shade of someone’s skin
And immediately brand them
And immediately brand themselves
A title that can never be shaken
A brand that will never leave
A tattoo that cannot be erased
And people have to live with it
Even when they have done nothing to deserve these
shackles that we clamp onto their wrists
And here, I will answer the question
That we all wonder today,
A simple question that seems to have a simple answer
And it does
But the journey to find it could topple cities in its wake,
Even a whole country,
Why does the world see what they think benefits them?
But when they are presented with an ounce of responsibility,
they turn a cold shoulder to those in need
and to things that need to be changed
Because it is easier to pretend nothing is wrong
than try to solve a problem and fail
No one handles failure easily
It can be a burden that weighs on your soul
Chains that drag you down
When you try to get back up
Can be answered very simply
Because failure stands in our way to success
And no one wants to face it
But let me tell you this:
Failing is a part of success
You cannot succeed without failing
And we cannot succeed alone
If we work together
If we hesitate to turn our back on the world
If we try
If we stop and look failure right in the eyes and say,
If we say that as a whole,
As a community,
As one United Front,
then we can succeed
Because we can be stronger than failure
If we stand together failure doesn’t stand a chance
And you can look back on failure
And you won’t have to be afraid
Because you will have conquered it
And the question
Will be answered
When someone asks
You can say
Because I succeeded
Because I conquered failure
Because I woke from my trance and
Heard the booming voice of the deteriorating
World that we live in
And I reached out a hand
And helped it back to its feet
Because I saw the problems in the world, and
Instead of turning away,
I ran toward them.
And I didn’t fail
because I didn’t do it alone
We did it together,
and failure wasn’t an option
And the question
Will no longer be an obstacle that you have to face;
It will no longer be a mountain that you have to climb;
It will no longer be a burden;
It will no longer be chains dragging you down to the bottom of the ocean,
Muffling your voice
Because you have spoken up
and broken the chains that linked you to the crowd.
You will have swum to the top of the ocean
and handed your bonds over to failure
so that they may drag it to the bottom,
So failure can be muffled
And the question
Will become a distant memory
An asking of the past,
An asking that received its answer
And with failure chained to the bottom of the ocean
There isn’t anything you can’t do,
As a united front
As one voice
Fighting for one cause
Failure will start to ask the question
because failure is alone.
Failure doesn’t have the power of a team
And failure has been beaten
After its long rein that struck fear and doubt in so many people
It has been overthrown
And cast aside
Without another thought
Because Failure can win the battle
But it will never win the war
Why? Is no longer our problem
It becomes failures problem
An asking that failure will never answer on its own.
Victory is more powerful than Failure
Why? You ask?
Because Victory is a team and Failure is one person
And one person cannot defeat a united country.
Sydney, through your achingly beautiful sentiments that took shape into poetic verse you beseechingly ask why.
As poetry is the experience of us. A storyteller of our hearts and imaginations that captures universal themes through personal circumstance.
Since poetry transports us to that intuitive dwelling within that does know the answer and sometimes changes the question.
And through someone else’s story, we get a greater sense of our own. A few words, arranged in a certain order, can change the world.
Our world. Your world.
And when all else fails dear Sydney, follow the Full Moon.
I ran by the glow
of the moon
in the predawn.
It followed me
down each street,
the warmth of its presence
welcoming against the backdrop
of the cold, still air
in the lonely, dark hours.
I asked the moon for help,
knowing it could relate
to the cyclical nature
of my need to know,
and at the end of my run,
when the sun was just peeking
through the horizon,
it dawned on me
that the sweet moon
was the answer all along.
Michelle J. Kaplan ©2020
Michelle J. Kaplan, The Corporate Poet, author, and founder of Burst and Fluerish, New Jersey
Sydney Horne, I am blown away by your brilliant poetic gift that rings loud a message of compassion and love for ALL, unity, and perseverance – taking a stand/pushing forward despite our layered fears or failures in this ever-troubling world.
Sydney: these lines are so timely, precious and true. They are both sweet and strong. What I love most about being a woman is being able to be both. To take in both of those words with equal gusto and this is what you have done here and who you will become!
Sydney, thank you for your beautifully written words! They are so timely and I think as you voice what is on your mind and in your heart, others will be less afraid of failure because you have stood up and spoken your truth!