Bright Spot – TYWLS


The young women in Ms. Blanding’s 9th grade class at TYWLS were able to explore what it means to come face to face with their true selves, during a wild, sometimes turbulent year, both within and outside their school walls. Jannah, a student in the class, had been quiet and reserved most of the year. Jannah never refused to participate, but she never exactly jumped at the chance to share her work. This was the case until the residency, with CWP teaching artist Katie Rainy, was winding down and the young women were hard at work revising their final poems that would be placed in their anthology. Jannah, had been working diligently on her piece, “Today,” for the anthology, a piece which she first drafted in November, the piece that she stood up and not only recited, but performed, to her class.

“Today” by Jannah

I met myself today
not in a crazy bad way
but sweet like a hershaaay.
I’m playin’, I meant Hershey,
like her and she
like her intelligence makes me weak
like she’s never gonna use the word unique
cause that’s just-not- unique.

Have ‘em like “have you seen the way she walks?”
“have you heard the way she talks?”
and all that pride I speak’ll leave ‘em in shock
cause I’m always racing to beat
that clock
the clock they made
to lead me astray
It’s moving farther and farther away
but that’s A-Okay
cause I met myself today.

My black pride’ll put you in the dust
my rejection to hiding’ll make them haters rust
Get it? Rust cause they getting’ old
them remarks no longer have me sold
everyone thinks that hatred’ll turn me cold
see, now I no longer believe what’s
always been told
cause I met myself today.

Now I don’t mean to intimidate
only to illuminate
and help conjugate
cause something as silly as hate
can never get in my way
so here I say
for the fourth time this day
the only thing I could do is elevate
cause I met myself today.