Welcome to Sydney, home

Welcome to Sydney, home

A poem by Sara Mansour, Co-founder of Bankstown Poetry Slam

Written by Sara Mansour

Photography by Andres Smetan

When the wheels hit that tarmac
Exhale nerves and anticipation
You know that you’re home

More than just a city
Sydney is a story
Penned in ink of gold
Leather bound with the stories of us
Living, connecting, singing, raising
Standards of living and the education of women
We are all pieces of this puzzle
Which is just as promising as it is puzzling
Building bridges but not always crossing them
Churning fear into optimism
Just trying to take stock of what it means to be
Here. Us. Now.

Coming off the back of COVID-19
Emerging from our cocooned homes
Not as young, but still free

Spreading our wings and questioning with clarity
Hungry for equity, culture, hope and connection
We’re links in a chain – full of beauty and tension
Honest with ourselves about our ambitions and our convictions
Talking in the same breath about
Building on our greatness
Redefining across the ages
City of Legacy

Home of the shakers, makers, thinkers and planners
I’m talking 6 cities,
Stretched suburbs filled with jacarandas
Stories of resilience line our optimistic faces
We’re hungry for connection
In all the pockets and places
From Balmain to Blacktown
Campsie to Camperdown

We are
Rebuilding and realigning
Dreaming and designing
We’re proud and let’s face it

We are
Smashing goals (and avocado)
Drinking coffee with bravado
Glistening gold like El Dorado
Thumping hearts and emboldened minds
Honouring the past, the present and laying foundations for futures redefined

We’re showing up, giving up, looking up and trying to understand
Calling and imploring
To think about where we stand
The best city in the world
The best story ever told
When the wheels hit that tarmac
Welcome to Sydney
Welcome to home.