The Columbian: Dear America – A Poem

by Ashley Lola Fanka
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With all schools in New Jersey in distance learning mode, the dedicated staff of Columbia High School’s award-winning student newspaper, The Columbian, proudly present their second on-line edition at The following Opinion column “Dear America: Poem,” by Guest Columnist Ashley Lola Fanka, was originally published by The Columbian on June 10, 2020. With permission from CHS administration and staff at the newspaper, Village Green will be posting more content from the current issue of The Columbian in the coming days and weeks.

Ashley Lola Fanka


Dear America, you will not silence me

How many more bodies need to lay in the streets for y’all to see?

When I look at my skin

I see beauty

I see a cocoa so deep

You can’t fathom to see the greatness in me

How am I supposed to tell my little brother that his skin unknowingly wears a monster-like persona?

How do I scream when your knee is on my neck?

How am I supposed to feel safe knowing that the people who are supposed to be protecting me are killing my people?

My life is worth more than a re-post

Know that if you kill me

my spirit will haunt the arms of the pig who has my blood trailing down his sleeves

And my thoughts are coming out like Hercules’s spilt milk

But just know my words are a spiraling masterpiece

that will spread throughout galaxies

My pain is in the first degree

Dear America,

He couldn’t breathe but as long as I can I will scream his name.

When America kills me,

make sure they heard me scream


The Columbian staffCo-Editors-in-Chief: Martina Zacker ’20 and Nicholas Shires ’20. DesignEditors: Dana Hugel ’20 and Matt McBride ’21. Photo Editor: Arielle Loubier ’21. Art Editor: Avery Soupios ’20. News Editor: Jon Cutler ’20. Arts & Entertainment Editor: Emily Wilner ’20. In-Depth Co-Editors: Noori Zubieta ’20 and Ruari McEwan ’20. Opinions Co-Editors: Jordan Young ’20 and Ari Mehlman ’20. Sports Co-Editors: Sydney Rednik ’20 and Zoe Slavin ’20. Designers: Derek Gutierrez ’20, Jack Griffith ’22, Ethan Walden ’20, Isaac Weber ’21, Charlie Hummel ’21, Sydney Mannion ’22. Advisers for The Columbian are Joshua Enyeart (English Dept.) and Cindy Malhotra (Fine Arts).

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