Mira Jiang

United States

Too Young

April 15, 2019

They say we are too young 
Too young to be depressed 
Too young to know what we stand for 
Too young to protest 
Too young to know ourselves 
Too young to know pain 
To understand death 

And they are right 
We are too young 

We are too young to be afraid of bullets ricocheting off school windows 
Too young to watch them tear into our classmates 
Our friends 
To watch someone who was living and breathing mere seconds ago 
Collapse into a pool of scarlet 
The light flickering out in their eyes 
To be thinking back on the last conversation 
And knowing we will never get another chance to tell them 
Just how much they mattered, and how much they were loved 

Too young to be scared of seeing a familiar face on the news 
Because Tamir was black and looked older than his age 
And the cop had shot him in “self-defense” and “civic duty” 
Even though he was unarmed and innocent 
Barely more than a child

Too young to be grieving for a friend 
Who decided it was better to face death than to live 
When no one would help them 
No one would listen to their cries and pleas 
Dismissing them as fake 
Because they were too young to know real pain 

Too young to be scarred and bruised 
Bloody and beaten 
By a war we did not start or choose to fight in 
They are right that we are too young 
Too young for homophobia 
To be normal 
But they cannot blame us for being aware of our reality 
Our generation was born with the world at our fingertips 
And we will not sit down and be quiet 
Because the adults were talking 

It is our turn to speak 
And our turn to fight 
Our claims can no longer be invalidated 
Our cries no longer silenced 
The deaths of our classmates 
And the blood of our friends 
Have laid down the path to revolution 
And we are not too young 
To bring about peace and change 
We have grown up in a hateful world 
With death and violence ingrained deeply into our society 
And dying was never our biggest fear 
Watching the world burn around us was expected 
But we intend to repair the damage that has been done 

And we will rise from the ashes

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