Liberation Poetry

In this midst of this COVID-19 pandemic The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life  invited members of the Smith community to reflect on the concept of liberation; what does it mean, how is it embraced, what can it illuminate? Smithies never cease to amaze us. These are three awe-inspiring  responses. Enjoy!


in the depths of each trouble

there is a solution until there is

a solution to be found


when you get to that door

some of us stand small, reluctant to ask for help

while for others glide in as if there is no lock

only a flowing curtain to pass as you please


inside this room, you will find


the wind that rushes past your hair, leaving whizzing in your ears

the power of a strength-induced stride

the smell of tickled grass that has danced in the rain

the perfectly flattened, skipping pebble that ran across the lake

the warmth of golden light rediscovering each pore of your face


in this room, you will see


the pull of melted chocolate in a freshly broken cookie

the satisfaction of a perfectly whipped peak

the spatula-scraped, tongue-licked bowl that is far cleaner than any soap could wash


in this room, you will face


the stomach-aching sobs that wrenched your bones dry

the race in the pelting rain that cut into your skin as your wounds cut out

the justice-filled roar demanding the injustice to be shivered into each soul

in this room, you will hear


the silent tears that knew no company

the invisible pain that hid behind smiles

the internal fight that chose each day


in this room, you will seek


strength to fill the marrow of your bones

self-forgiveness to wrap your heart

and, of course, a night-light to lift the societal misjudged dark


in this room, you will choose


Liberation, because

knowledge is knowing you are worth fighting for

wisdom is remembering you ignite life

and happiness is spending each breath fighting to be free

Uzma Malik ‘22 (she/her)is interested in pursuing the intersection of health, psychology, and advocacy of the Middle East. She is part of CRSL’s Interfaith Student Advisory Board and serves as the Social Justice, and Equity Representative for Al-Iman.


Liberation is

When everyone is safe

When everyone is fed

When everyone is housed

When everyone has healthcare

When everyone is accommodated

When everyone is seen

When everyone is heard

When everyone listens


Liberation is not

Eagles flying

Flags waving

Prisons containing

Laws oppressing

Guns shooting

Bombs falling


Liberation is believing in the truth of each other’s experiences

Liberation is acting in service to others

Liberation is eradication of privilege and power

Liberation is restorative justice

Liberation is elevating your safety over my comfort

Liberation is a neverending process.

Toby Davis ’03 (he/him) is an Inclusion Education Trainer/Facilitator in the Office for Equity and Inclusion. He has been connected to the CRSL in one way or another since he attended Sunday School in Bodman Lounge in the ‘80s. Most recently, he is delighted to be a colleague and co-conspirator with the Center.


“Liberation is the like of love

She feels like the brightness of a thousand moons

yet her rays are soft

When love fills you

You see how the world becomes still.

You can finally watch her and you’re the only one in the crowd

In all that she is and can be


You’re at the mercy of her splenditude

The willful submission of her spontaneity

Love feels different

This liberation feels calm

In all the right places she fits

No opening untethered

Liberated in the limitless of her unending love

Its sticky and like honey and you wish to make last for a lifetime


Liberation is knowing

that your thousand splendid moons

And the dandelions you roar through

is everything you are deserving of


So let yourself be intoxicated by the possibility

As rich as the finest silk

Is the basin of her love

A day will come where the pain that blinded you

And the horizons you longingly looked over

Will breakthrough with the light of her arrival

For man,

real Love is our liberation

Be soft to her glad tidings.”

Yacine Diama Fall’ 21 is a Biochemistry and African Studies major, active in Al-Iman and Student Government. She is very passionate about social change on campus and in the world.

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