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Photography/Unknown

Photography/Unknown

Editor’s Note: The following poem was written by past Defiant staff writer Fatimata Cham.

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I used long for my mothers lemon cake 

Each birthday has come and gone 

But the memory of blowing out the candle 

On my mothers lemon cake 

Still is engraved in my mind 

Flashing by 

Like timeless pieces 

I think to myself 

How 17 years has passed 

I think to myself 

How my beautiful sister in Syria 

Will never get to taste my mothers lemon cake 

Waking up to bombs and explosion 

I try to her etch out her features in my mind 

Like I think about my mothers lemon cake 

But all I come up with is 

Darkness and sheer and utter sadness 

17 years has passed 

I think about my brother in Sudan 

He waves his flag high 

Shinning and bursting colors of blue

Bleeding his countries flag

But something is a miss because 

while he is fighting for his life 

I’m just blowing out another one of my candles 

On my mothers lemon cake 

17 years have gone 

Greta is speaking to us all 

Jamie is speaking to us all 

I am speaking to you all 

Does my mothers lemon cake 

Matter more than my brothers and sisters dying everyday 

Does my mothers lemon cake 

Matter more than people chanting to my dear mother Ilhan send her back 

I am 18 

As I blow out the candles on my mothers 

Lemon cake 

I am surrounded and engulfed by darkness 

And I wished to not taste my mothers lemon cake again 

I wished for peace

I wished for an end to this climate disaster 

I wished for sustainable living 

I wished for my brothers and sisters to take those broken glass sheer green cups and raise them high in the sky 

I wished to meet them one day 

I wished for my mothers and fathers to no longer have to bury their child 

I wish everyday 

This poem is for every candle I blew out 

Without thinking about our world and my place in it

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I hope you live to see it too