Coming to America:
Poems from Lowell High School Students

When we arrived, the sky was so dark.
It was night, but the airport was so crowded.
Many strange faces, many new languages.
We all knew, this is our new lives.
Silly me, having no knowledge of English
But one day, we all can do it.
Our small wings started to grow bigger.

~ Girl from Vietnam

As long as we are together in this journey,
There is nothing we can’t achieve.
This land of wonder welcomes me with lot of answered questioned and questioned answers.
Will people treat me the same as others or they will take advantage of me because I have a different skin color,
For all the time I have been myself now I am lost.

It takes a risk to ignore what they are saying, but I felt neglected.
All I think now is about going back home,
I sit back and ask myself why am I different from others,
Waiting for someone asking to be my friend,
Feel the tears of being alone.

~ Joyesther Hassan from Kenya, age 16

I have been waiting since I arrived in the United States.
I’m waiting for a new life.
I’m waiting to rest.
I am waiting for a new opportunity, working hard, full of hope and dreams to fulfill.
So some day after all this waiting, I will be able to say “finally I have achieved it in America”.

~ Markx’s Pineda Lezama from Mexico, age 19

American Dream

Even the stars must have dreams,
Mine is about to start.
The beginning, always hardest part,
I took a plane, but who I am.
Amazing the way life surprise,
I don’t know how to say goodbye,
I’m on my way where you can’t understand my hi.
More than 300,000 people all by their own,
Sharing an airport alone by their own.
Globalization, what a lie they tell us.
“Pillowzation”, at night tell your pain to yourself.

~ Sebastian Martinez from Colombia, age 18

Nightmare or Dream

First step to what?????
Big future……..or contrition
Happy or sad
Scared or saved
Cry or laugh
No idea……..mixed feels
No one I know
No word to say
Far from everyone I love
Running from death to hidden futures
Looking from the window at my new bedroom
Looking to the sky
Feeling it’s a new sky
God why I am here
Will they accept me as a Muslim
Will they judge me because of where I am from
What I wear
100…. Questions in my head
No answer even for one
Looking to my Mom’s eyes
Waiting for answers
A lot of tears
Try to get a little power from the embrace of my Dad
Next day I got all my answers from a small smile
from the old man in my neighborhood

~ Zalikha Abdo from Syria, age 21.

When I first came to AMERICA
American kids used to make fun of me.
But I put my head down, kept my eyes closed, and unplugged my ears.
When American kids sees a BLACK person from AFRICA.
Either they will call you ugly or make fun of your outfit.
And they’re doing all these because:
They don’t know your story
They don’t know you’ve been through
They don’t know you behavior
They don’t know your really good at something
They don’t know what kind of person you are
Until you tell them and that’s what I did.
And I’m not saying American kids are unfriendly
It happens in every country.

~ Yaw Agyin-Yankson from Ghana, age 16

I come from a beautiful and poor country
Where we do not have material but to be happy.
Today I remember with tears in my eyes, as was the first day everything was different,
new language, new home.
That feeling, like an idiot, because I know nothing.
But every fall makes you stronger.
When the people call idiot for knowing nothing, show them that you are a stranger
Your weaknesses are your strength!

~ Veiker Perez from the Dominican Republic, age 17 

The Window of the plane I see hope
The hope of a cure,
The hope of a new beginning.
At the same time I see sadness
Of leaving everything behind
Everything I knew
Everything that I lived for
It is now a memory that I keep in my heart.

~ Paulina from Mexico, age 17

My Happiness In The Winter Season

Walking through the snow field with my jacket, gloves and boots on

It very cold outside and snow everywhere
I started to build a snowman
With the sunrise snowman start to melt
When on the next snowy day, I having fun while building a snowman again
I found my happiness!!!

~ Phiroun Eng from Cambodia, 15.

I took a plane to be free
My expectations keep scaring me
Try to understand my feelings with this poetry
Many things to say but, I don’t know how to say it.
Everything is different in the United States.

~ Jaime Fran from El Salvador, age 18

On the first day in this country
My hopes and dreams were to study and to get to know other societies and other peoples and cultures.
My problems here are the differences and many things, like language customs, social life, etc.
I also hate people’s pity for me because I am from a country that was subjected to war and devastation.
I hate it when people ask me, “where are you from?”
they tell me I they are sorry for their question and they have pity in their eyes.
But I am proud because I am from Syria.

~ Girl from Syria

America a place of opportunity
When I first came, it was love at first sight
Dreaming about a better future
As time passes by I have learned the language and culture
Later on I became proud to be here.
Life is not always easy
There are moments I miss my family
Still, I got used to living here
I feel as if I have been here my entire life
My heart has now two homes
America is for sure one.

~ Maria Franco Silva from Brazil, age 15