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"Dear My Refugee Girl," a poem by June Nin Way

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

This poem was written in a creative writing workshop with WeLEAD participants. With permission from the writer, June Nin Way, we are able to share it publicly.


Dear my refugee girl, I hear you. I see you. I've lived through your experiences.

Your world has been locked in a box, limited from unlimited possibilities.

Your winds are restricted, like a caged bird as you've been conditioned to operate only in that confined space, having to fear the unknown, instability, and possibility danger.

Your fate has already been determined, by the rules of the oppressor, and questionable religious ideology.

Your eyes are covered by a thick black cloth so that all you can see and ever know if how to live a simple refugee girls's life.

Your thoughts are suppressed and you learn not to question authority and unethical acts conducted by corrupt leaders.

Your root has been ripped apart after years of killing, segregation, inhumane treatment that forced upon your Karen people.

Your dreams are all you have that you could hold on tightly without knowing whether they could ever become a reality and you know that your chances are pretty slim.

But dear my refugee girl, can you feel the innate wisdom in you,

Can you feel the power within you, the shining light inside of you that is waiting and waiting to guide you, to heal your soul and to empower the hell out of you.

So please believe in you, believe in the countless souls you will inspire one day.

Use you fighting spirit to fight for you because to me, you matter.

Your courage matters to me, to grow and to thrive in a world that is designed to kill the very dimming light I have, a world where all odds are against me, and a world where all that I ever need is you. Dear my refugee girl.

By June N Way

WISE believes in using the power of the arts to heal and empower our participants and communities. Learn about our core value, Art as a powerful Tool for Learning and Healing.


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