(Artwork by Anya Thakur)
Liberty High School

Poem: Leave it Behind

“Leave it Behind” is a poem by teen activist, artist, and journalist Anya Thakur on leaving behind a meaningful legacy, our impact on others, and imparting love and wisdom.


leave it behind

fireworks complicated the streets in bursts of sulphur and showers of golden sparks rained down from above,

as the moonlight painted her face in shades of silver, feeding into the pores of her skin and beaming out luminescence.

“the most important thing you will ever do,” she told me in that moment, “is leave behind something that can be passed on and touch someone else.”

“all this is temporary. your education. your four year degree. how you looked tonight. hours wiled away behind a desk. the money you make. none of them can truly change anyone, including you.”

i looked at her as these words spilled from her lips, soft and infinite like the galaxy’s edge and blades intent on tearing into me.

desperation steeped into my voice as i asked, “and what will?”

she smiled and whispered back, “the feelings you give people. goosebumps. sensations outside their skin and deep in their souls.”

i drank in her words, not daring to breathe. “how?”

“touch them without laying a hand upon them. pour yourself into them. empathy will do it, human connection will. and love without an agenda, without terms and conditions, without doubt and hesitance and fear.”

they all bled red and cried saltwater. but money ran out, victories lay forgotten, and beauty was buried under.

and so she lasted long after skin and bones had all been turnt to dust because she left behind something tangible, with a beating heart and no expiration date.