Madeleine Hur

Madeleine Hur is a 17 year-old poet from Daly City, California. She is the first Daly City Youth Poet Laureate, a program supported by the Daly City Public Library Associates, and the first Youth Poet Laureate in San Mateo County. Currently a Senior at Oceana High School in Pacifica, she represents her school as a Student Trustee for the Jefferson Union High School District and is part of the Associated Student Body Congress. Named Daly City Youth of the Year in December 2021, she has represented Daly City and San Mateo County in numerous public events. Madeleine’s poetry is influenced by feminism and youth empowerment.

Poem on Belonging

DESTINATION

I need to go to a destination.
My map is blurry.
A man, sitting on a tall tree.
“Sir, which way do I go?”
He tells me,
“Swim across the road, climb the river.”
I shake my head, but say thank you.
A woman, sitting on a cloud high up.
“Ma’am, which way do I go?”
“Swim across the road, climb the river.”
I shake my head but say thank you.
A child sitting on a giraffe’s head. His legs dangle.
“Child, which way do I go?”
“Swim across the road, climb the river.”
I shake my head but say thank you.
This is impossible.
I will never make it.
I start to walk, but I turn back around.
“Child, have you ever been on the ground?”
“Of course not!”
I run to the woman on the cloud.
“Ma’am have you ever been on the ground?”
“Foolish girl, why would I?”
I walk to the man.
“Sir have you ever been on the ground?”
“What a silly idea!”
I roll my map.
My path is clear.

Copyright © 2021 by Madeleine Hur. Used with permission of the author.

Poet Laureate Project

“Get Out the Vote” youth poetry & information event, with support from San Mateo County Elections Specialist Sara O’Brien, San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto and Daly City Public Library Associates Executive Director Victoria Magbilang.

Watch Madeleine’s performance at the San Mateo County of Education’s Arts as LIFE! Conference.