As I walk through the large grey doors,

It all feels so overwhelmingly new

The first day of school here in Canada

And I have no idea what to do

 

The kids, they all look so different

It’s the first thing that hits me, stings like cold water

I realize I want to get away from here

Just curl up into a ball, or shrink to the size of a flea

 

They chatter quite loudly

In a tongue I can’t seem to understand

And are those jeans that the girls are wearing?

Oh please take me away from this strange land

 

In a bright, patterned Kameez

I feel so lonely, lost and out of place

I thought everyone would look like me

But, indeed that is not the case

 

The looks, the whispers, the giggles

They think I can’t feel it, but I hear and see it all

As I sit in my first period class

I try to casually bled into the wall

 

‘This is Fatima’ the teacher says

As she introduces me they continue to stare

My mother told me don’t worry of what they think

But in all honesty I can’t help but to care

 

The cafeteria, a hustling and bustling room

Yet I sit on a table in the corner, all alone

As I wistfully hope for some new friends

But this is a new country, a new school, I should have known

 

I pull out my lunch, some warm Naan

Which I don’t hesitate to eat with my hands

The other kids they’re using spoons and forks

What a peculiar site, stranger than I planned

 

Its three years later, and I look back on it

I realize now that our cultures clashed

The quiet, reserved Eastern one

With the loud, opinionated Western one ultimately crashed

 

But all these years later, I feel a sense of joy

I finally feel like a belong

I’ve made a couple new friends

And I realize they wanted to get to know me, all along

 

This new land has provided me

So many new opportunities and freedom

To grow up and be an astronaut, a pilot or an actress

To be whom I’ve always needed to be

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