Let The Dream be a Dream Again

by Alexa Alfaro, 826 Valencia
In this poem, a student reflects on the American dream.

Let the dream be the dream again.

A dream where I can dress however they want without being

     judged or sexualized.

Where I can prove to my family that I can still build a future for

     myself without immediately going to college.

Where I’m able to have a legacy without getting lost in the pool of

     other legends who should’ve been remembered or had more


Where I can identify as any gender, or none at all, and I would be

     just as accepted and valid as any cisgender female and male



(The dream was never meant for me)


Let the dream be the dream again.

A dream where a Black man can say “I can’t breathe” and the

     police will actually listen.

Where rights aren’t up for debate, but instead are given without

     conditions or worry that the next presidents might take them


Where people are able to live freely and express themselves

    without fear of what could happen.

Where teens are educated on the essentials of adulthood and not

     left to struggle on their own once they reach it.


(The dream was never meant for me)


Let it be the land that dreamers dreamed.

A dream where anyone, regardless of where they were born or

     what class they were born into, can attain their own version of



     Where the American dream is achieved by sacrifice, risk-taking,

     and hard work, rather than by chance.


(The dream was never meant for me)




Who said anyone? Not me!

Surely not me? With the people who can’t find stable housing?

The people with disabilities who people refuse to hire because

     they’re automatically deemed as useless?

The single mothers who’ve had kids at a young age and are now

     struggling to make ends meet?

The immigrants who are severely overworked?

The undocumented people who live in constant fear of being


The garment workers who are forced to work in unsafe conditions?

The statistics telling me I’ll most likely never be able to make more

     than my parents?

The statistics saying being born in the lower class won’t help you

     achieve the American Green?

The statistics proving that not anyone can achieve the American



For all the dreams we’ve lost

And all the stories we’ve undone

And all the fights we’ve begun

And all the rights we’ve won


The millions who have nothing

Except the dream that’s almost dead today.


I am the Latina, brave and striving to make a difference.

I am the writer struggling to put words on paper but determined to

     get my message out.

I am the queer dehumanized by society and cautious when

     roaming the streets.


I am the woman exploited, shunned, yet crucial nonetheless.

I am the teen laughed at, ridiculed, and silenced by the world.


(The dream was never meant for me)


O, yes,

I say it plain,

This American dream was never meant for me,

And yet I swear this oath—

One day the dream will be!


from the 826 Valencia publication, Waking Up From The American Dream