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Who Are You?

By Aniya Baker (BCPSS student)

Decision making creates my identity

But my indecisiveness is what will eventually break me

This is what I believed, but now my identity holds no shape

and my mind is unable to fathom even the idea of making a decision

Who am I when I no longer use your truth?

A question yet to be answered

As my mind continues to fail, I extend my hand

reaching into the abyss that lies in front

only to be rejected

and told I have not lived a long enough life to feel these emotions

“You aren’t working hard enough”

“You just need to focus on school”

“I’ve been through worse than you”

So I take the feedback and follow directions

Pouring my all into what I am led to believe will fix me

Not knowing that once again

the demon of indecisiveness has laid her hands upon me

I don’t understand why

Why am I not better yet?

I worked and worked as you asked

Even until my hands could no longer write the words you beg for

My mind a hollow crater, filled with nothing but your commands and demands

You force your words and help down my throat

Until I can no longer speak

Papers, pens, pencils and volleyballs make me choke

On my salty tears of regretful decision making

I hold no shape as if I am water

Until I am pushed by you into a classroom, onto a court, into my room, into my head,

that holds no thoughts

A continuous motion

the verbal representation of the mind I have placed upon my head

As beautiful as the ocean, but as violent as the storm that wakes inside

Taking your truth and belittling myself

Your truth hurts, and now everyone denies my mental health

Including myself

You’ve painted a picture of me in your mind a thousand times

Of what you wish could represent me

Only in the end to realize you’ve already erased me

Again and Again forcing your words and dreams to slip off of my tongue

For 15 years, six months and 5 days

I contemplated whether my existence was ever worth the fuss

Leaving me with a feeling of numb

That would force me to confront, and restart

As I walk down the aisle, time reverses and I relive all of my curses

Face to face with you and the questions I’ve refused to pursue

Who are you when you no longer hide your truth?

What could you become when you no longer hold his truth?

Aniya, who are you, when you no longer hold their truth?


Aniya Baker is a 9th grade student at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. Aniya is deeply passionate about history, law, social justice, and building spaces for creatives in Baltimore City. She can be reached at