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Featured Writer: Nora Ibrahim

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

two worlds intertwined - Poem

i watched american pharoah win the kentucky derby

my father pointing at the screen, telling me, that’s you

american mother, egyptian father: a combination of two worlds.

from two different worlds, my father and my mother

had me, born of two different worlds, a hand in each, not fully one of either.

from my father i was given the warm spices of the earth

cumin, coriander, ghee, familiar tastes and smells of home,

making kushari, grape leaves, shareyya, always there for comfort.

my mother doesn’t like to cook, but still she made me muffins,

clam chowder, apple pie, calming seasonings of cinnamon,

in every pastry, bread, and cake; the scents intermingle,

in the kitchen, in my memory; not two different worlds,

only one, the food of my family, my culture, my home.

american pharoah, i think it’s cheesy but true

i remember my father telling me, there is beauty in difference

to experience two cultures, two worlds, two ways of living

he tells me i am lucky, but most days i feel cursed

to always be the outsider in both my family trees

different from every cousin, friend, no one but my brother

born in the same boat, so different, yet the only one

in the same culture as me, and most days i feel lucky

that my cultures were born to coexist, harmony, a melody

two worldviews, languages, foods, music, families.

american mother, egyptian father; a combination of two worlds

different in every way, cultures enemies at war; so it is beautiful

that they created a pocket of harmony, a pocket i call home

where i belong to two, two families, two languages, two foods,

two cultures intermingle, intertwined inside me.

the blossoming of the camellia - Poem

the camellia blooms in winter

its delicate petals blushing red

they open quietly, no fanfare to be heard

you don’t realize that they’re there

‘til they’ve adorned their velvet robes.

their bright green leaves

protect them from the winter’s dagger

the color harmonizing with their coats.

but without their sturdy trunk,

they could never show their faces

without its other parts,

these flowers would never bloom.

the camellia enjoys the spotlight

until winter ends its regime

and spring rescues the flowers from their captivity.

a palm tree amidst a billion towering pines - Poem

a single tiny palm tree

surrounded by

a billion towering pines

alone, different, scared

a single tiny palm tree

its fallen spiky leaves

covered by dead pine

its memory forgotten

a single tiny palm tree

a billion towering pines

hide its favorite thing

its view of the faithful blue sky

Nora Ibrahim is an amateur writer from North Carolina. She is currently in high school and preparing for college.

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