My artwork is about how an individual can prevent and overcome any kind of violence in their life if they desire relief. My poetry concerns a female who is deeply shaken by the violence she faces within society, whether it's dating, school and/or gang violence. She suffers a lot before realizing she has a voice and that the end (even though she is broken and scarred for life) is just the beginning for her. I believe every kind of violence is torture because it is what it is – violence.

I was told that I knew what I had to do, and began,
Although the whispers surrounding me bellowed in my ears,
My bones tremble,
My skin shudders,
I am going to break.
I knew what I had to do, though the gale pried
With its icy, rigid nails seeping into my back.
It always remained a dark hour,
One you cannot escape alone,
The road is full of broken branches
Not to mention stones.
I am breaking.
But slowly, the tremors and shudders stopped,
My bones aligned and I became intact.
The whispers turned into a voice,
One that I recognized as my own,
Determined to do anything it couldn't in this world.
I rang the bells that I couldn't ring,
I forgot about my perfect offering,
Everything should be cracked,
It helps let in the light.
I am Broken.

Artist: Sara Riaz
Age: 12-16