for teens, by teens

Canvas Teen Literary Journal is published quarterly in print, ebook, web, video, and audio formats.

I'm From

Sarah Bayoumi

I’m from a world so big,
It takes me fourteen hours to fly to my birthplace
where the wintry snow towers over me,
like the decorated tree in my living room in the heart of December.
I am from intense snowball fights and drinking warm hot cocoa
where frozen, snow-white marshmallows bob around like the glaciers in the Arctic.
I am from snow days, pink noses, and rosy cheeks.
From blanket forts and flashlight shows with Bridget,
and lots of time spent daydreaming.
From my refrigerator filled with ice cream of every imaginable flavor,
                peppermint stick, cranberry and vanilla, black raspberry, cinnamon,
even in the middle of winter.

I am from a world so big,
it takes me six hours to get to a place where I feel at home,
where all you hear are my sister’s whiny “are we there yets”
I am from a world of backyard conspiracies and imaginary playground friends
and a summer full of playing ghost in the graveyard and ding dong ditching.
From watching the 4th of July fireworks in the shape of a red heart
with grape popsicles and purple tongues.
I am from checkered picnic blankets and baskets full of turkey sandwiches,
                where the mosquitoes prefer me over Amelia,
and it’s never under one-hundred degrees outside.
I am from a world where scary aliens hide under my bed,
and the tickle monster is out to get me.
I am from a traffic jam of Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s.
A world where swimsuits take over my closet, and I smell like chlorine all day.
I am from building royal sandcastles with drawbridges, surrounded by imaginary sharks
to the time when the waves crashed it down and ruined hours of creativity.

I am from a world so big,
it can take me a whole week to battle jet lag.
I am from piles of fallen yellow, orange, and brown leaves,
                  but the wind doesn’t like them that way,
                  it prefers them roaming free.
From a change in weather, as the air starts to cool down.
I am from Back to School Night and first day jitters.
I am from new students
and the heat of swim team tryouts.
I am from forgotten unpaid allowances, but they always deny it.
From a world where nobody minds that I’m a girl wrestler.

I am from a world so big,
half of my family lives next to the Pyramids,
and another fraction live next to the Statue of Liberty.
I am from a world where hiding Easter eggs in the sink is normal.
Where you can look through the window and find fields of daffodils in the rolling hills.
I am from familiar walks in the woods with Colette
where trees of which we know the name of smile back at us.

I am from the mighty world,
so big,
and it can make me feel so small.
I am from a world of no labels;
                      I am American, I am Egyptian, I am two percent Native American,
but have lived almost
because why be from one tiny place
when you could be from them all.
I am from a world changing so soon and so fast.
Where I am from, everyone comes and goes
                     and not many stay.
I am from running into someone
at times least expected
                     like Bridget, Amelia, or Colette
and then I realize my world
is not so big after all.


Sarah Bayoumi is a fourteen-year-old ninth grader at the American School of Dubai. She has been featured in her school newspaper and her school literary journal. Sarah is a passionate writer who hopes to change the world, one word at a time.


© Canvas Literary Journal 2016
Writers & Books
Rochester, NY