When I Dream the Future

Aaminah Shakur
2 min readMar 13, 2017
“We Daily Make Our Path Forward” a mixed media painting by Aaminah Shakur (Image description: a canvas panel painted in multi colors ranging & blending from left to right — purple, blue, green, yellow — with marker colored floral half mandalas on the top left and far right edge. Silver text of the title runs diagonal across the painting)
Image description: Grey background with white text of the poem

This poem can be listened to HERE

Text of the poem below does not include the formatting

When I Dream the Future

When I dream the future

It is not of a sea of safety pins

Or half the population in a headscarf

It is not white people lining up

Outside mosques screaming

“I am a Muslim!” Spartacus style

It is not even

A rainbow flag on every door

A Black power salute

Between strangers

Or a thousand poems

Quoting the Statue of Liberty

About huddled masses

These are not the things I dream

Because these are not

The things that help me

When I dream the future

It looks something like

The Underground Railroad

Contemporary takes on coded quilts

Garden plots that feed the people

Midwives and doulas revered

And healers everywhere

It looks like secret dispensaries

Of hormones, asthma and diabetes meds

Pain control and anti-anxiety pills

When I dream the future

It involves clandestine meetings

Led by scared and scarred people

Giving orders and directives

To the people who feel so free

To walk in the world safely

And infiltrate spaces to

Burn them down

From the inside

When I dream the future

Disabled people are not discarded

Single moms aren’t doing it


Children are fed by everyone

Protesters in the street

Protect the most vulnerable

Abortion clinic walkways

Are protected six rows deep

And the abortions are free

As is the birth control offered after

When I dream the future

The sun continues to shine

And its power is harnessed

To provide heat for all that need it

Oil pipelines do not exist

And water is free for all

How are you going to put a price

On what nature gives so freely

When I dream the future

It is the near future

Because I cannot see my own self

Further ahead

These are the dreams of what

I wish I could see today

But I’m afraid I will never see

Because what we have are

Safety pins and


And some of us don’t have time

To wait for the future

Of our dreams