This world is making me bleed.
Blood and tears and angry sweat, it’s all falling off me
and it’s staining my clothes
and cutting paths down my cheeks
and no one who cares is allowed to do anything.
We were told big words of freedom, of liberty
and were dazzled by them until we learned what they really meant.
Now they are thrown back in our faces and we are bruised by them.
Is this liberty?
We have our choices stripped from us,
and they tell us it is because those freedoms are dirty,
yet people are allowed to kill each other with savage efficiency
and that’s all good
and protecting the lives that will be taken by that savagery is a lapse of freedom but protecting our freedoms is a savage lapse.
We’ve fought and fought but it must all have been for nothing
Because how could this be victory?
Our waves have crashed
and destroyed the bars of our cages
but when we stepped out into the fresh air
we looked up and saw that we were in one big glass terrarium.
People sit behind their desks and dare to say they are helping us
But how much are they really doing,
if people who are not us can sit behind their desks and discuss our rights
like they’re things that others should have any semblance of power over?
How can we call ourselves intelligent if we refuse to see the value of others?
How can we call ourselves compassionate if we can so easily refuse those in need?
They say cold water and soap can make blood stains go away,
but nothing will wash these mistakes from the tapestry of a nation.
We have been refused our rights,
our ability to add to the narrative our way,
but that does not mean we will do nothing.
Let our blood stain this country.
Let no one forget that we have been wronged.
Let us hope as one that someday people will look back on what was done to us
And they will be bathed in regret.
We have been dealt the worst possible hand, but we will not fold.
We will persist in the face of this injustice.
Someday, our descendants will be able to be proud of what we fought to defeat.
They will be proud of what we overcame.
Or they will be like us, and will cry that our contemporaries did not act to free them.
Karena Christen is a teenage writer living and writing in Riga, Latvia. She tries to use her writing to explore themes of feminism and her own convoluted feelings.