Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist



May Tesfaye

Year 10

“Knight to F3”

my opponent begins. For if I dare start it would be a mortal sin.

“Pawn to B5”

My first piece moves, yet for I am black I am subject to lose.

Although both sets are identical,

we are not treated the same,

for white always dominates race and black is put to shame.

“Pawn to B4”

my piece moves yet again,

the rest do not move as they are too weak to defend.

As the game continues I only move one piece,

for if I start the rebellion the existence of my set will cease.

“Pawn to B3”

As the white began to spread,

both on the board and in my head, it was myself that I began to lose,

the whites had come in and switched off my fuse.

The one that allowed me to be myself,

before I was treated like an item on the shelf.

“Pawn to B2”

I am in the in the danger zone, I am on white territory, and I am all alone.

no voice to speak up and no right to take part,

and I am still expected to not take what they say to heart.

“Pawn to B1”

My piece is converted to a queen,

I have become a version of myself that no one has ever seen,

for this is not who I was or who I am, it is what I've become to be accepted.

It is what I have to do to bypass my future being neglected.

“Queen to C1”

The king is not too far, he has stayed in E1 watching from a distance,

because he knew the risk of erasing our existence,

though we remain quiet there was rebellion in our heart,

and if need so, then the rebellion shall start,

as the other black pieces grow courage and begin to move across the board,

I watched my people get wiped out because they were flawed.

Only their flaws were not flaws, they were simply natural,

if only equality finally became factual.

“Queen to D1”

I am one move away, this is my chance, do I risk it all or stay.

Stay and be unheard, and silenced from opinion,

or risk it all by trying to give ourselves dominion.

I could let my people down, or die trying my absolute best,

for every race to be counted as one,

and for none to overpower another for we all live under the sun.

I stop for a moment, and look around the board,

it is funny how something so violent can be considered a game,

I look around the board, in distraught and disgust,

I must end this game, I simply must.

Their eyes must be opened and they have to acknowledge we are one,

for none of us shall overpower another for we all live under the sun.

Everything slowed down as I realised what I have done, we've finally won.

what was thought of as impossible, it is finally done.

None of us shall overpower another for we all live under the sun.

“Queen to E1”