By Miranda Rodriguez
9th grade, Staples High School, CT
3rd place contest winner

With lines from "Venezuela's Days of Upheaval" by Natalie Keyssar, a Pulitzer Center reporting project

Venezuelans ask, how much worse can it get?
Arepas, Salto Angel y música en toda la calle
Then I saw the soldiers, tear gas, and barricades
Chávez había destruido mi segundo hogar

Venezuelans ask, how much worse can it get?
La capital era como un viejo amigo que perdió peso y ahora tiene una mirada embrujada en sus ojos
Venezuela's economy was falling apart and the seven stars were fading away
Esta tierra rica en petróleo se desperdició solo para que la hija del Diablo pudiera tener dinero

Venezuelans ask, how much worse can it get?
Me enamoré con Venezuela
The food lines had grown longer, the streets after dark more deserted, the faces wearier
Cien dólares era más barato que comprar papel higiénico

Venezuelans ask, how much worse can it get?
Estudiantes han caído al suelo
Baseball practice becomes throwing gas bombs and Mother and Father's childhood burnt down
Un árbol genealógico entero que no puede recordar mi cara

I ask, ¿cuánto peor puede ser?


Miranda Rodriguez

Miranda Rodriguez, first generation Venezuelan American, goes to Staples High School, class of 2021. 

During this school year, Miranda has been fortunate enough to be given a voice by her teachers to bring awareness to creative thinking which allowed her to start a conversation about the crisis in Venezuela. She hopes to bring more awareness to her school about this crisis and teach kids how to make a change in what they believe in and she believes that starts with educating her peers. She has also used her voice to speak up about disabilities as she is hard-of-hearing and is proud of her hearing aid. She uses the negatives in her life to make positive outcomes. Her goal is to make a change in the world.

Read more winning entries from the 2018 Fighting Words Poetry Contest