“Legacy” is a poem written by teen activist, artist, and journalist Anya Thakur. She works to empower and uplift communities as founder of GirlUp Dallas, a UN Women organization, and a MetoWe partner with ArtRising, which provides arts enrichment to underprivileged communities and creates diverse programming for South and East Asian women. Hosting education, self-defense, and language and literature classes to empower rural women in Delhi, Mumbai, and Munipur, and humanitarian efforts with Myna Mahila, which empowers women in rural India through health education, her women’s advocacy promotes UN Women’s mission to ensure a fair and equitable future, and she has traveled throughout the United States and India to speak for girl’s education and empowerment.
Storytelling is an important art that deserves to be celebrated. But beyond words, we need change-makers and I aim to give greater purpose to my art by using my voice and my platform as a vehicle to help build empathy across borders and invoke action. I hope to capture these themes and raise awareness through my poem “Legacy.”
– – –
if we’re not careful
we’ll leave behind wreckage.
of sweet waters turned to murky ‘off-limits’ and oil-slicked scales and feathers.
of children ripped from their families, pearls taken from the bellies of oysters.
the scopes of snipers aimed at roses growing from cracks in the concrete.
handfuls of dandelions ripped from the earth like weeds.
bombs spilling from the sky like candy, and raging storms chasing down rainbows that dare to be seen with bullets of lightning and silencing roars of thunder.
princesses a shade too dark met with barbed tongues and bated breath, not diamonds and roses and coronations.
the rights to feel love. happiness. recieve an education. not fundamental, undeniable human rights, but privileges.
brilliant, tremendous worlds of ice and crystal havens melted down to slush, leaving starved, stranded warriors.
cries for help reduced to excuses. and admissions of weakness. and character flaws. when they’re soldiers fighting constant battles against anxiety, depression, and self doubt.
starting fires too huge to be contained, erupting until they consume our hometowns, and we wonder where the firefighters are.
and our children must fix it.
is this our legacy?