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Sara Surani's Creative Portfolio

How can a color, like red, or yellow, or blue

form opinions so strong that they differentiate me from you?

Black, white, everything in between:

What is the difference between what is felt and what is seen?

After decades and days and moments of trying,

The struggles, The strifes, The protests, The troubles

The oppressive chains of society emerging, passionate fires surging

Repressing, depressing, suppressing humanity’s instinct to be human

and infecting it instead with an infection more lethal than an uncontrolled virus

Infecting like a cancer that spreads—slowly, then all at once

Slowly affecting the most advanced of humankind

Leaving bodies, but metastasizing through the mind

Toxic thoughts arise, creating prejudice between color and religion and prosperity and size

Revaluing diversity, devaluing pluralism, and valuing the ignorance and conformity

that fortunately became veiled behind a desire for difference and an absence of uniformity

 Memories of refusing to stand, dreams of children holding hands

“Equality!” they chanted! “Freedom!” they granted.

Hope appeared like a long lost love,

A love spreading like a cancer—slowly, then all at once

Infecting the most petrified of souls to reach out and try

Infecting bodies, but often leaving the mind

as souls feign acceptance and wait for time

to be replaced by time

to be replaced by time.

Everything has changed, but some things are still the same.

Some things still remain.

Some things take time.


I based this poem on the themes of identity and ignorance in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, My Son the Fanatic, and The Rainbow Sign. In all three works, individuals are discriminated against because of their religion, race, or place of origin. These readings, coupled with the current outbreak of the Ferguson and Eric Garner protest inspired me to write this poem. This poem speaks to question society and the way although we have evolved to change social constructs, the mentality of some remain the same. I allude to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., and their efforts to restore peace, equality, and freedom. However, despite their movements and how so much of time has changed, we still divide individuals into constricting categories. I wrote this poem to self-reflect on these events and bring to light the issue of discrimination.

December 6th, 2014 at 3:57 AM