By: Jacqueline Gibbs
Today we worked on writing poems about ourselves and where we’re from. A sheet was passed and questions were asked to help the students think of home. Colors, smells, family, and popular sayings, these are things that bring memories of growing up.
I’m from a crazy city where lies lie down the road,
I’m from a place where when you close your eyes
You dream of gold
I met a girl who buried her face beneath her arms. Who told me through the angry glint in her eye that nothing mattered. Who only looked away when I tried to explain the importance in learning each and every day. In a place she never wanted to be. Surrounded by people she didn’t really care to meet. Here, because this is where her older siblings come to school. She claims this is why she doesn’t care. What a dumb rule.
Back and forth, round and round, I paced the floors and walked away from that little girl with the frown. Peeping over shoulders, circling in all directions. I shuffled around looking for ways to be useful. Offering suggestions and making corrections.
You can walk down the shallow streets with thoughts that still linger,
And also where your dreams last the length of a finger
I’m from a place where there are a couple of kind hearts left,
A place where all I remember hearing is “Never give up until you
Have gave your all and tried your best”
I met a boy who said the smells of gas and fumes remind him of that place called home. And where is home if not with your parents? Could it be with grandparents? Friends? To all of these his reply was no. Finally someplace? I said. And he could only nod his head.
Not all of the poems that I saw filled me with sadness. There were words that spoke of loving families, good food, and tradition too. Strangers to me and stranger to them. How beautiful a thing for poetry to reveal to me their hidden worlds and who knew.
I’m from a place where everything is unfamiliar, and where people
Are so cold it’s almost like when you ask for warmth
They give you the shivers,
I’m from a place where you see people go from magical mansions to crying shacks,
I’m from a place where
People turn their opinions about you into facts
My whispers must have reached her in someway. I’d almost forgotten when I looked away. That’s when she called me over and placed it in my hands. What was once a blank sheet of paper became twenty-one lines of pure talent covering the entire space. I wasn’t wrong when I looked at her and saw a genius behind that little pouty face.
I’m from a place where people yell O-H-I-O,
I’m from a place named
-Linden McKinley Student
By and by a week had passed since that last day I saw her in class. Up the stairs and to the right, down the hall and there it was. Hung from the wall those twenty-one lines. And can you only guess by the grin on my face what I meant when I said to the girl with the glint in her eye. Oh what a wonderful place for your poem to be.