Poetry

Free Girl

Bright spirit
Strong mind
Graceful and elegant
Colorful and shy
Yet open and proud
She’s beautiful
She flies

Juwaireyah Dorsey is in the fifth grade at Universal Institute Charter School in Philadelphia. She writes poetry, short stories, essays and plays. Her favorite subjects in school are science and math, she loves shoes, and her favorite color is baby blue. She likes to hang out with her family and play with her baby sister, Jennah.

Free Girl

Bright spirit

Strong mind

Graceful and elegant

Colorful and shy

Yet open and proud

She’s beautiful

She flies

Juwaireyah Dorsey is in the fifth grade at Universal Institute Charter School in Philadelphia. She writes poetry, short stories, essays and plays. Her favorite subjects in school are science and math, she loves shoes, and her favorite color is baby blue. She likes to hang out with her family and play with her baby sister, Jennah.

Shower

The towel slips off, falling to the ground, and with it falls the composure of a well-rounded girl.
My hand grasps the shower handle, turning it up, up, up. I want to burn off the façade.
The façade of a person who knows what they’re doing, who rarely has bad days, who has their shit together.
I step in, the tile floor threatening to pull me in like quicksand. The water rushes over me, tiny bullets piercing my skin.

Worthless. Disappointment. Failure.

Eden loves to write poetry and read vivaciously in her free time. She is currently working on a short story, as well as a plethora of poems. Music is her inspiration, and she often expresses a hidden side of herself through her writing. She lives with her family and huge, loveable dog in Havertown, Pennsylvania.

Denning

No service.
No make-up.
Lips, chapped and pale
in an expanse of tanning skin.
Ears tilted like an elf’s.

Hands built to wrap around
a guitar’s neck—
to wrap around your neck.
Arms built to hang onto bodies,
laughter falling from mouths.

The dark opening
of the forests’ jaws,
tumbling forward,
leaning backwards,
making small talk
perched upon hips.

Every door,
every window,
open.

Burgundy blanket.
Burgundy cup.

Blue eyes,
blonde hair.

Francesca Wilkin is 17 years old and a junior at Harriton High School in Rosemont, PA. She have been writing for most of her life but only in 9th grade did she start writing poetry. This is her first published piece.

Communal Pen Friend

Part I.

Francesca Wilkin is 17 years old and a junior at Harriton High School in Rosemont, PA. She have been writing for most of her life but only in 9th grade did she start writing poetry. This is her first published piece.

So Tight, So Right

You were right
for holding onto me so tight.

Wouldn’t let me leave

unless I had long sleeves

You cooked me food
and made sure I ate good

Told me about my sister’s past
Since I am the last

You were right
for holding onto me so tight.

Told me about the boys

who treat girls like toys

Didn’t want me to do bad in school

so I won’t be a fool

You’ve done your job well
I’ve grown up to be swell

You were right

for holding onto me so tight.


Battle Scars

The scars—
What are they?
Don’t worry,
I’ll be fine

The scars—
What are they?
Something I
Left behind

The scars—
What are they?
A dark secret
Of mine

The scars—
What are they?
They’ll go away
With time

The scars—
What are they?
A war within
My mind

My America

Blue and white
Flimsy plastic lines
Woven together, grated
Down in a row
Foldout chairs on the
Asphalt, yellow and dotted
Line of Main St.
Small town Mayville, NY.
July Fourth, it is a Monday
This year, not the last
When chapel bells rang
Rhythms conflicting
Brass bells clanging
With the toots of the
Sirens ready for the Parade.
Small town not lacking
Conviviality, when the
Shriners spin by motors
Churning humming red
Race strips running 13
To the American flag.

Laura Haskin is a senior at Friends Select School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her creative nonfiction and poetry has been published in Philadelphia Stories and The Bell Literary Magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and functions as the founder of a food and travel blog, The Cedar Kitchenette.

"For You A Thousand Times Over"

There is a Polaroid image
Vintage- yellowed and crisped
Corners folded, labeled in
Smeared sharpie with those
Curves of your letters
I knew them so well
Two faces pale yet
Flushed by the summertime
Sun beaming down
Spotlight to our embrace
Father, I remember
Fragments of those stories
Like fairy tales recited
Again and again
For you I would tell them
Re-spin those journeys
My own words molded
To the melody pulsing
Through the blood in our
Veins- slowing like our
Heartbeats-synced

Laura Haskin is a senior at Friends Select School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her creative nonfiction and poetry has been published in Philadelphia Stories and The Bell Literary Magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and functions as the founder of a food and travel blog, The Cedar Kitchenette.

That Feeling You Get Sometimes

Sometimes I sit in my room
and I feel like my walls are closing in
But this makes me feel like a hack,
because everyone and their grandmother has said this
I don't know, maybe I am a hack

Sometimes I choke on the words
that I wish I could muster the courage to say
And sometimes I say them anyway
Only to apologize for how I feel
Just to spare others

Sometimes I think about punching somebody
I don't mean that I want to punch somebody
I just think about a specific instance
When he pushed me too far

Ian Greenleaf is in the tenth grade at Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School. He was inspired to write by a few of the poems included in our last issue, specifically "My Rain." He loves reading experimental fiction, and writing both prose and poetry.

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