A Better Life By Hinnah Mian

A Better Life

what my mother did not
teach me as a kid
was how to feel when
looking into the barrel
of a gun

my mother taught me
how to appreciate life
on this side of the world
having left her home
and everything she loved
to give her children
“a better life”

my mother now
chokes back tears
when trying to get
the words “a better life”
to crawl out of her throat

what my mother
did not teach me
as a kid was to
handle the fear
of living my life

my mother always
told me pretty white lies
to try and ease the pain
of the future and because of that
i had to teach myself
how to be a kid
but i also had to teach myself
how to save the life of one.

i first got a gun pulled on me
at age 18 because my skin
did not match the color
of the stars and stripes.

my mother was not surprised
when i told her. instead she
dreamily reminisces of her
childhood in her home country,
a time when she and the world
felt safe.

what my school
did not teach me
as a kid
was that all these
foreign countries are
not war-torn, dangerous,
pillaged of hope.
that my home is not
a battlefield.

they were trying to
distract me from the
fact that i am
currently living in one.

By Hinnah Mian

A poem from Disarm: A Themed issue Responding to Mass Shootings in America


Hinnah Mian is a 21 year old Muslim Pakistani-American poet. “A Better Life” details the struggle of dual identity as well as gun violence in America.

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