Queens and Kings: Daya’s Poem

yli is My Story

Queens and Kings

–by Daya Smith-Mojica

U see i tried to build myself back up
because i didn’t like who i saw in the mirror
but as i tried to fix a broken image
i had to come to terms that this is what i’ve created

i’ve created a reflection of manifestation
manifesting everything i’ve been thru
and mama told me don’t let that negativity define u
but what else am i supposed to do

because i feel like all i know is pain
And I don’t like to show emotion
But i don’t know how to hide it

So ima show them the broken pieces i’m trynna put back together
ima let them hear my real voice, as it sounds like a broken record

only playing the parts nobody wants to hear
because with out the rest of the words
it isn’t complete
just a repeat
a loop of the same things
You see what I did there

I’ve been struggling with myself
And at the same time fighting with everything else

People say I’m too young to know what’s going on
I’ve come to terms that
This world ain’t fair for no one
Ain’t nobody listening to our cry’s
They leave us out of the conversation
And say it’s because I’m too naive
But I can comprehend bigger issues than the ones I face

i’m only 15 years old and i’ve been held victim to the system as a baby
i said i’m only 15 and i’ve been held to the system as a baby

walking through prisons since i was six just to see my dad
crying my heart out every birthday cause i knew he wasn’t gonna be there

Born and raised in the excelsior
The city is my playground
But we’ve been pushed out so many times
I can’t even recognize my own city
We just need someone to listen

If you listened to kids like me for 2 seconds you would understand where our pain is coming from
We are more than what’s been given to us
We understand more than what we are taught

Kids like us gotta remember
don’t let them see ur weaknesses because that’s all they will use against u
ur stronger than ur greatness weakness
so don’t let them take advantage
always remember ur power
We’ve been raised to be Queens and kings not Cowards

**Daya, a YLI youth leader, shared this poem at the Annual For the Love of Youth celebration in San Francisco in February 2018 in the presence of her peers, adult allies, and proud father.