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A Nation Engaged: Death of a Nation

Oct 13, 2016

Throughout this election season, NPR and its member stations have been having a national conversation called "A Nation Engaged." The project has looked at central themes in this year's election, including this week's question:

What does it actually mean to be American?

We put this question to some promising young spoken word artists, and we'll be sharing their poems with you all week.

This is a poem entitled Death of a Nation by Marrim Al-akashi, a graduate of Fordson High School. 

Death of a Nation, by Marrim Al-akashi

My parents, the refugees

were knives

that gave life to a wound

Having me dead before the blood dried

My skin slashed open

once they crossed borders

I bled all over

what they could have been

My body decayed

when I learned the language

of the soldiers who shot my country down

And I am buried under

the words I speak in broken Arabic

Marrim Al-akashi is a Detroit Citywide Poet alum. Her poetry centers around her identity as a Muslim American poet of Iraqi descent. She recently graduated from Fordson High School.

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