Poetry

Baby

She’s cute and not very tall, but she sure is small
She doesn’t lay as stiff as a log, and when she’s sick she howls like a dog
Her nickname is Tab, she’s not able to drive a cab
This is because she can’t reach the pedals and put the pedal to the medal
She sits in her seat and makes a beat
She’s a little lazy baby and although she is crazy and does not know how to waddle
She sure can drink a bottle
She’s soft like silk
That’s because she drinks lots of milk
Her tongue is white
She likes to bite

Juwaireyah Dorsey is in the fifth grade at Universal Institute Charter School in Philadelphia. She writes poetry, short stories, essays and plays. Her favorite subject in school is science, 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.

The Yearbook

An innocent nine-year-old girl sat behind a wooden desk
That desk was her home away from home
The days flew by, the teachers droned on
School was simple and life stress free
Recess and gym were a godsend
She had pals, but the desk was still her best friend

Now she is a teenager, and school is a prison
Her desk and friends have turned into plastic
Drama-filled text messages and the usual catfights
Listening to lectures and writing endless essays
Scholarly success versus the social blend

Nisha Bagchi is a student in the eleventh grade at Eastern Regional High School.

A Man’s World (Inspired by Alice Walker’s “Women”)

Be soft
And supple
Hairless like a child
Pluck your brows
Dye your hair
But don’t be so vain
Stand up for yourself
But know your place
Be wife material
But don’t be so needy and dependent
Be strong
And confident
But rely on my compliments for self esteem
Don’t starve yourself
To look like a stick
“Only dogs like bones!”
But don’t indulge
Be sexy
Be curvy
Be thick
But don’t be a cow

Marissa Wenglicki is 15 years old and lives in Feasterville, Pennsylvania. She attends Neshaminy High School and is in tenth grade. She loves books, art, writing, and animals.

Albuquerque

I have known the untamed happiness of chill in early October,
biting against flesh, joy of light blue fleeces tucked up ‘round chins,
all the jubilation of purple dusk skies silhouetted with hot air balloons,
glory in turquoise and silver,
fried dough and alpaca fur,
the beatitude of shadows in the sky lighting up rainbow with the roar of fire,
delight in RVs, museums and Georgia O’Keeffe painted flowers,
burning in the day and crisp as apples at night.
And I have seen mountain homes perched on boulders full of cougars,

Madeline Ragsdale’s poem, “Albuquerque,” is about a trip she and her family took to a balloon festival in October. Madeline is a sophomore at Lower Merion High School, and loves to write poetry and short stories. Music is very important to her; she’ll go to as many concerts in Philadelphia as she can afford, and her parents will allow.

9/11

9/11

deeply
nestled within
the dull concrete debris
lie the bones of those who could not say
goodbye

#

fear

fear is assuming
that the unfamiliar
is dark and evil

#

hope

living on nothing
but promises and a dream
that things will work out

Graham Laughlin is 16 and lives in Riverton, NJ. Graham runs cross country and track, and enjoys American literature and learning about the historic significance of writing. He likes writing essays and short stories, but prefers poetry because it is a freer way of writing and conveying a message. His favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird because of its honest, simple, and often funny dialogue. His favorite magazine is National Geographic for its diverse, cultural perspectives. He loves Philadelphia because there is plenty of opportunity for business, art, science, and living a great life.

Friendship

Friendship is a stab in the back.
You put your commitment
in friendship.
You put your love,
you put your heart.
Still,
friendship betrays you.
Like a wolf
turning away from
the pack.
But there’s
no pack
it’s just you and her
and she left me
left me for someone.
Someone
who I can't bear to say.
That’s why I am here
writing poems
and she has forgotten
who I was,
who she was,
who we used to be.

Zoe Tzanis. I love to write all sorts of things, especially poems. I've been writing for about 4 years. My favorite author is Veronica Roth. I really like the dystopian books she's written. I like to play a lot of sports. Soccer is my favorite! I love the rush of running down the field with the ball.

Hunger

unger is relentless.
Hunger keeps you going
while pulling you back.
Eating away at you soul,
your nerves,
your bones.
Hunger is
that box
always waiting
at your door step.
Making you remember.
Making you always hungry
for food,
for money,
for love.
Until the day
when there is no more hunger.
No more food
no more money
no more love.

Zoe Tzanis. I love to write all sorts of things, especially poems. I've been writing for about 4 years. My favorite author is Veronica Roth. I really like the dystopian books she's written. I like to play a lot of sports. Soccer is my favorite! I love the rush of running down the field with the ball.

Sadness

Sadness
is like a crumpled up grey t-shirt.
Smushed,
filthy,
and
abandoned.
Yet,
there is something beautiful
about the grey t-shirt.
Something that makes you stare.
That sadness
like the t-shirt
can be picked up.
The beauty
of that it can always,
always get better.
Like a sad song,
or an old book.
Something beautiful
Out of something
others think worthless.

Zoe Tzanis. I love to write all sorts of things, especially poems. I've been writing for about 4 years. My favorite author is Veronica Roth. I really like the dystopian books she's written. I like to play a lot of sports. Soccer is my favorite! I love the rush of running down the field with the ball.

Susannah

My sister Susannah,
has thick black curls, slanted eyebrows,
and a dimple on her cheek.
She is a fig tree,
short but determined,
facing the wind, never bending. 

She came back every summer,
to see friends, to see family,
to see Philadelphia.
But one day would always be devoted to me.

That day we would walk,
around and around the city in circles,
like a lost child,
but we weren't lost, we know the city like an old book,
the kind you read over and over.
The city was our home,

Olivia Maltz is a seventh grader at Friends Select School. She enjoys writing poetry, making ceramics and playing the ukulele. She has lived in West Philadelphia her entire life.

Confidence Is Like a Glass Window

Maybe confidence is like
a glass window.
Nearly impossible to break,
but not quite.
Usually bearing 
a crack or two.
A scare that shows the truth.
A window can break.  

Some glass windows
are ten inches thick,
and bulletproof.
Some glass is fragile,
a window that is too thin
to block out the cold.

Some windows are dirty,
smudged and foggy.
The glass too damaged
to see through.
Some windows
are made of crystal.
The glass so clean

Olivia Maltz is a seventh grader at Friends Select School. She enjoys writing poetry, making ceramics and playing the ukulele. She has lived in West Philadelphia her entire life.

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