• Featured Writer/Artist

Leaves Above

By Maesha Hossain


My identity.

The luscious brown curls, shining in broad daylight

as a pen is racing along the inside of a notebook,

the very pen in my hands.

My mother's language dancing along my tongue,

its syllables like music,

its recitation like home.

The hundreds of scarves and sweaters overflowing my bedroom closet,

each piece of clothing a safe haven,

holding a sacred memory.

My notebooks in my school backpack

each filled with scribbles and doodles,

its strokes groaning of boredom.

The earrings I wear every second of the day,

crafted with pure gold into a heart shape,

its weight light and gentle.

The salwar kameez I wear to weddings and Eid,

a soft but vibrant blue,

its intricate designs gliding along as they reach the rim of the dress.

My voice, quiet as the night,

the whispers like dandelions sprinkling the hills,

unleashing the secrets and mysteries within.


My identity.

Unique like the tree leaves above.

Maesha’s submission illustrates how her identity is not just a piece of her but is rather something that defines her. The unusual elements of her identity anger her throughout the day, causing her to ask "Why? Why did I have to end up with these horribly dry curls, this quiet voice and personality that no one can hear, and a culture unlike the norm?” However, out of all the 7.6 billion people in the world, she just so happens to be the one with those dry curls, that quiet voice, and that foreign culture. After that realization, she started to recognize the beauty within the different things about her, each discovery more intriguing than the last. “Take the time to explore the aspects of yourself that you despise, to see how beautiful it is...Take pride in your individuality and the parts that make you, you. You may be surprised at how tremendous it may be.”

Maesha Hossain is a 14-year-old who has always had a passion for writing, whether it be articles or poetry. Through writing, she discovered that she could express herself in ways she did not know was possible. She uses writing to share her opinions and views, from social issues that anger her to her feelings of being an outsider in society. Writing is a beautiful art that she is grateful for and proud to find, and she hopes to pursue it even more in the future!

Her South Asian identity has exposed her to many distinct experiences in her life, such as listening to Bengali songs. Her culture and heritage have made her more confident and proud of who she is as a person, and who she strives to be in the future.

Originally created and posted on Instagram (@creativelyasian). Click to go to the original post!