When I feel the burning sting of a racist remark,

I remind myself that it is just an ignorant bark…

When I see thick polluting smog taking over the horizon,

I close my eyes and imagine the beauty of a rainbow glistening under the sun…

When I hear police & ambulance sirens at odd hours of the night,

I whisper a prayer for all people in physical, mental, emotional, &spiritual pain,

that they may win their internal fight…

When I smell the concrete streets saturated in urine and smoky cigarettes,

I wonder if the wealthy understand the toll growing up in poverty inflicts on one’s spirit and I conjure up the souls of those who have had to endure worst to help me persevere…

When I taste the bitterness of injustice,

Being aware of the fact that what doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger motivates me to keep on keepin’ on…

NegativeToPositive

photo source: Jay Roeder

Kaira Portillo

Kaira Portillo

Kaira Portillo-Espinoza was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She is grateful for having grown up around such a wide spectrum of diversity, which makes the Bay Area the unique place it is. Her first published book, Poems About This Roller-Coaster Ride Called Life, is a collection of poems she wrote throughout high school and college and explores issues of injustice, resistance, sexuality, and empowerment. See more articles by this author >