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Slam poetry Inspired by Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris is pictured here with Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai. Photo from Office of Kamala Harris via Wikimedia Creative Commons

By Kashvi Ramani

Amma always said “go do something.” I am bored on a lazy Sunday, scared for what may happen to our world, modeling in the uncut stems of our backyard. “Find something productive. Then fix it. Think bigger, Kashvi,
bigger.”


Shyamala Harris always said “go do something,” whether her daughter was bored at school or conducting a mock trial with her sister in the comfort of her duplex. “Find something productive. Think bigger, Kamala, bigger.”


Born in a nation of freedom and peace, but 13,000 miles across the sea is a piece of our identity. A life never lived, a story never told, a part we never really formed into a whole.


For her, her mother groomed her to see the world with screened eyes. “Understand they see you with a black filter,
accept it, but never expect the worst.” The saris were banished to the back of her closet.


I never had them to begin with. White picket fences line the street, American flags flap in the gusts of wind I never got used to. Maybe the drops of moisture beading my forehead at every hour of the day suits me better. The life fulfilled, the story written, where I am treated like a princess, maids and drivers at my command. Or at least where princesses like me exist.


The foundation of Kamala’s steady home was rattled early on, couldn’t take on the world with the broken shards of her glass heart. So she picked up the pieces and hid them, her head leading instead of her chest. She would make
her mother proud.


And I was a bird at birth. Just itching to fly home, wherever that is. I never belonged here, or there, or anywhere, really, but each time my mind would get wrapped around itself, my mother would call with a megaphone to
jumpstart my brain, would tell me exactly where I was. Say these wings would know someday, so take it step-bystep. I knew that I would make her proud.


Kamala soared. Said dethrone the “king,” campaigning to run our country. Or rather, sit by its side. Hand-picked for her love, or was it her color? The best option to grace the ballot, or is it the lesser of two evils? Now she is
caught. How can she fly when her wings are clipped by the people she hopes to govern?


“Go do something.” Clock hands tick. “Go do something.” Another life lost. “Go do something,” even when you are caged; “Go do something, go do something,” because a caged bird can still sing.


Her mother, decorated in the stars like constellations, lives in her glass heart, and reminds Kamala of the hope that keeps her from nose-diving with every comment of “not black enough” or “brown enough”, every “Trump 2020,” two words set on a loop as a comeback to all accusations, every “a woman is not fit to lead.”


Because just as her mother led her through the blind spots in life, she will be a mother to our country. She will make mistakes, we may not agree with what she says, but she will fight for us, and do everything she can to protect
us.


13,000 miles across the sea, but these wings need not spread right away. I have found a home and I am here to stay.

Photo from Kashvi Ramani

About the Author: Kashvi Ramani is a writer, actress, songwriter, and singer from Northern Virginia. She is currently a freshman pursuing a dual program in high school (Entrepreneurship and Theater / Film). She has been writing songs, poetry, scripts, and other forms of writing for much of her life. This is her first year participating in slam poetry and qualified to the DC Youth Slam Team. In second grade she won her first poetry competition, going on to win $5K for her elementary school after writing a rap in fourth grade, and was granted a Silver Medal at the National Level for her submission to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

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