Freedom and Justice for Some By Irene Vazquez

Freedom and Justice for Some

I remember
being free
like I remember being born:
everyone says it happened,
but I don’t have proof.

One of my closest friends was born on the 4th of July.
I call him freedom’s child,
boys at our school
say he’s unpatriotic
brand him terrorist
because his last name is Mohamed,
his cinnamon skin the most beautiful crime.
He doesn’t stand for the pledge anymore.

I dream of fireworks
in an America that celebrates me.

Is this what adolescence is supposed to feel like?
A never-ending

Explaining to my white friends who Emmett Till is?
Body and perception,
one and indivisible?

How will I ever see it all?

By Irene Vazquez


Irene Vazquez is a Pushcart Prize nominated writer from Houston, Texas.

Irene was a runner up in the 2016 Glass Mountain Prose and Poetry Contest, and she received an honorable mention in the 2015 Princeton High School Poetry Contest. Her journalistic writing received a first place Gold Circle award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Alexandria Quarterly, F(r)iction, and Words Dance Mag, among others.

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