Welcome to a new I Am From poem with a wonderful introduction by Hardi Patel about how it came to be…marvelous!

Hello Everyone!

My name is Hardi Patel and I am headed to grade 10 this September. At the beginning of last semester, for my grade 9 English Class, I was asked to create an “I Am From” poem. This was such a fun and insightful project; I really enjoyed it. You can view my class’ published poems here:( https://iamfromproject.com/2022/03/29/tina-chivers-class-from-niagara-falls-ontario-has-sent-another-group-of-marvelous-poems-enjoy/ )! As well as that, we read the novel, Dear Martin, by Nic Stone as a class. This book was terrific and was so phenomenal! It was filled with hard truths and a lot of emotion. It showcased the truth about how racism affects people every day and how sometimes we don’t even notice it’s there. We spent the whole unit focused on the important question, “Are all men created equal?” Then later, at the end of the semester, I was asked to write a media piece about Dear Martin; I chose to write an I Am From poem from the perspective of the main character, Justyce McAllister. 

If you have read Dear Martin, then I hope this poem allows you to reconnect to the story and see yourself in this character’s shoes again. If you haven’t read it, I hope this poem gives you a helpful overview and urges you to read this novel. 

I Am From – Justyce’s Perspective

By: Hardi Patel 

I am from a bad neighborhood with just me and my mom

From learning to go right rather than wrong

I am from learning to trust even if their skin is white

From learning to fight with words for my rights

I am from playing video games with my best friend Manny 

From debating with SJ and going to Blake’s terrible parties

I am from being on and off with Melo 

And from me and Jared sharing only a small “hello”

I am from almost always listening to my Mama

And from getting caught up with Jared and Blake’s drama. 

From trying to make it to the top, even when Trey always feels the need to tell me, “Mr. Smarty Pants”, to stop

I am from always knowing I can go up to Doc

And from realizing showing compassion is just one drop

From realizing no matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to let those cold metal handcuffs fly

I am from learning Castillo’s dead, but it never mattered

From the cold metal cuffs still being felt by me in the shower

I am from understanding, there will always be jerks

And from learning it doesn’t matter and not to assume the worst

From late-night conversations with SJ when there’s no need to pretend

And from making mistakes I can learn from, in the end

I am from asking Martin for some guidance 

And from not letting my voice rest in the silence 

I am from learning to say my words and fight with peace

From understanding my life isn’t missing a puzzle piece

I am from figuring out, they aren’t trying to be insensitive; based on where they came from, it just comes out. 

I am from learning to forgive just like Martin would

From making it clear that, “it’s aight we good”

I am from believing no one should be alone 

From everyone should have somewhere to call home

I am from finding out that compassion will win again and again opinions aside  

I am from learning, just like Martin said, we should all be kind and look for what’s on the inside

I am from trying always to look at people and understand 

From trying to answer the big question, “are all men really created equal in the end?”

By: Hardi Patel


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