I am from Oakland

A place where everyone wants to do drugs and be thugs

A place where gunshots are nothing

And school means nothing

A place where people buy Js and MK to say they got something

A city where hateful word are always being spoken

But feelings and emotions remain unspoken

A city where people think they’re all alone

And are told they can’t make it one their own

 

I am from family

A family with short temper waiting to explode like a burning fuse

A family where my mom not only played mother but father

A great role model

 

I am from my dad dying when I was four

Shutting people out as soon as the tears started to pour

I was sick to the core

I am from all types of music that’s what got me through

But who knew time was no healer I still feel blue

 

I am from sadness and hatred

From hurt and laughter

From falling apart and standing back up

I am from slow to trust but quick to forgive

I am from all my perfections and imperfections

 

I am from Oakland

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Where I Am From by Dyane is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. Autumn 4 months ago

    Dear Dyane,

    I am intrigued by your poem because I feel like you told your truth and I could feel your passion and emotion in every word you wrote.

    One thing you said that stands out for me is “A family where my mom not only played mother but father, A great role model.” I think this is interesting because I can relate to it in so many ways, my father was imprisoned when I was really young and my mother played the role of mother and father. Our situations aren’t completely the same but I can understand where you’re coming from as far as having a strong mother hold down the fort.

    In my class, we watched Chimamanda Adiche’s “The Danger of a Single Story.” Your post reminded me of this quote from her speech “What struck me was this: She had felt sorry for me even before she saw me. Her default position toward me, as an African, was a kind of patronizing, well-meaning pity. My roommate had a single story of Africa: a single story of catastrophe. In this single story, there was no possibility of Africans being similar to her in any way, no possibility of feelings more complex than pity, no possibility of a connection as human equals.” I thought this meant that you are more than just your single story and this connected to your poem because you demonstrated through each stanza that there is more to you than just where you come from.

    Thanks for your project. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I feel like after reading this poem and relating so much to it I would be able to relate to more of your work.

  2. Khalil 4 months ago

    Dear Dyane,

    I am intrigued by your poem because you were so honest and outspoken. Most people wouldn’t be confident enough to share the information that you shared with a close friend, but you put it on the internet where everybody could see. You are a very brave person and I am happy that you got through all of things that you talked about in your poem.

    One thing you said that stands out for me is: “A family where my mom not only played mother but father.” I think this is sad because I know that it must have been hard for you, growing up without a father. For your mother also because she had nobody to help her raise a family.

    In my class, we watched Chimamanda Adiche’s “The Danger of a Single Story.” Your post reminded me of this quote from her speech: “But the truth is that I had a very happy childhood, full of laughter and love, in a very close-knit family. But I also had grandfathers who died in refugee camps”. I thought that this quote meant that even though things seemed like they were all good, in reality people around her were still dying and there was still bad things happening all around them. This connected to your poem because you have a few sentences about falling down and getting back up and if you do this people might think you’re okay even though you’re really not..

    Thanks for your project. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I find the things that you write about interesting. I also find them somewhat relatable.

  3. Vincent 4 months ago

    Dear Dyane,

    I am intrigued by your poem, because Oakland sounds like a difficult place to live. Even so, you had lived there all your life and to be able to do so and survive shows me that you are a really strong-willed person.

    One thing that stood out to me is how you mentioned your family, especially your mother who had stood as both a mother and father figure when your father died, and also how you were able to cope with music. I think this is also relatable, because I too cope with my inner sadness by listening to music.

    In my class, we watched Chimamanda Adiche’s “The Danger of a Single Story”. Even though you only touched on Oakland a little bit and how little I know about it, I realize that your description can’t all there be of Oakland. Otherwise, it would be really sad. It reminded of this quote: “All I heard about them is how poor they were, so it became impossible for me to see them as anything but poor. Their poverty was my single story of them.” Therefore, I believe that Oakland has to have at least some good qualities.

    But anyways, thanks for sharing your poem. I look forward to seeing what future poems you will write, and what experiences you will share.

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