by Ayana Alamgir, age 9

The dancers are waves

crashing for freedom

in a big coconut island

so that no one is silenced.

Their dumpling dress

with bright and colorful skirts,

but that won’t fight

for what really hurts.

And that, my ladies and gentlemen,

is called a star.

“Star Poem” was written in response to Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations,” Ailey’s exploration of grief and joy through African-American spirituals, sermons, gospel, and blues.