Once Home


Daphney Ramirez, Staff Writer

Note: Daphney wrote this poem to submit to the 2020 Fighting Words Poetry Contest hosted by the Pulitzer Center. The poem is a response to the article We Are All We Have’: Nome Sexual Assault Victims Find Their Collective Strength”. 


Once Home

By Daphney Ramirez

Clouds among a field of roses

Carefree children running among the unknown

Something sweet, neat and clean

Tainted by those who were supposed to protect me, protect us

“Police didn’t even respond to their calls for help.


Pleasing to others like the surface of the sea, until you reached too deep

Seeing through rose colored glasses to hide the muck once called home

I don’t want to go, but where can I go

All its the same whenever I go, the whispers, the looks, the pain

Yet we are the ones to blame

“Police seemed to blame those who suffered violence.”


Where is home

When will it come, when will the bad go

When will I call it Home

How long for the sea to keep crashing against the rocks

When will peace come into mind

When will roses be roses

People be people

Love will be Love

Hope be Hope

When will happiness be seen as looking at home, soft, sweet, warm and gentle

When will this nightmare end and the dream begin

There is a hand that holds out, I’m not alone

“That took a while for us to really see that wasn’t going to go any further,” said Ellanna. “And that’s when we decided then to go public.” 


Hope stuck us all, in me, in she, in him and he, in all who were in pain

Closing my eyes, the pain still lingers

But these people who stayed, who fought, who screamed and shouted when we couldn’t

They are my sanctuary

They are my home