Miss Porter's Campus

Kinley Simmons | We Are Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams

Congratulations to Miss Porter’s Connecticut Scholastic Writing Award winner: Kinley Simmons | We Are Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams | Poetry | Honorable Mention

We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams

Except their dreams weren’t all that wild

How could one expect them to be when poachers entered their jungle in the dead of night 

snapping every twig in their path 

destroying every inkling of community, pride, and power within the pack

Cubs ripped from their mother’s bosoms before they knew the strength that they possessed 

Manes more golden than the sun

 sheared, for it was no longer a sign of beauty 

but another feature to alert the poachers of their species

paws declawed, limbs chained, snout muzzled, mind manipulated

home a distant memory of the past

Just as one does not expect a lion enclosed in glass to truly believe that they are king of the jungle 

We cannot argue that our ancestors dreamed of the pleasures of the white man when deemed his property.

Wealth, Education, Social status, Political power, White collar jobs, Respect 

Were luxuries unknown 

Our ancestors developed the best dream they could based on their past, their present, and what they hoped for our future

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were words stolen from their prayers 

Our ancestors dreamed of strong Black communities where cubs are united with their parents learning from the elders of the pack

Manes are encouraged to grow displaying to the world the beauty held within

paws reclawed with the weapon they fear the most – knowledge

limbs freed from restraints in a safe space so that one may learn how to walk again

muzzle broken as the cubs learn to roar louder than the Waring of Langston Hughes

mind nourished with the truth of our rich regal history

and home reflected in those around them 

This year my family suffered a  house fire where one-third of our home was destroyed  

losing many family memorabilia and living essentials

however, by God’s grace, no one was harmed

Through this time of turbulence, I watched as my Black community came together to support my family in more ways than I can count

I am forever grateful for the love shown and will carry this memory with me forever  

That is our ancestors’ wildest dream

relentlessly supporting and caring for one another through good days and bad, creating a community so strong that all are made better because of it

Healing from generations of trauma inflicted upon us 

Beating the game designed to be unjust

Restoring our community with the love, pride, and power that once overflowed

We are on the path home

We are our ancestors’, and their wildest dreams 


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