This summer, several of our campers at GLI – ranging from 6th through 9th grades – wrote poetry to express their perspectives and ideas. This is their original work.
I love being a girl
I know when all bus partners are taken
or when someone signals for me.
It’s a social network, unspoken,
in the air, like a texting phone’s 3G.
This wink, or that eyebrow raise, means,
more than expression. Her posture, that face
means more than comfort.
It’s not just with girls
his red face, eyelashes, squished together in clumps
that extra wetness, means he’s been crying.
That sigh, or growl, means he’s not happy.
But that slight upturn in his mouth,
the eyebrows, titled microscopically up,
that means he’s happy.
I love being a girl.
I know in my heart and my brains and my bones
and my veins that I am beautiful.
Beautiful like sidewalk dirt
that gets blown in your face.
Beautiful like the wind in your face
when a screaming subway rushes past you.
Beautiful like the germ-infested pay phone
I used to call him and tell him
I really do like him.
Beautiful like the harsh harsh looks you get
on the street from sweet people
who know that they’re beautiful too.
If I didn’t care
If I didn’t care what people thought,
I would walk through school
In my pajamas,
Spewing nonsense about eyes
and birds wings
And at the end of the hall
I would turn around
And use my inner voice
To tell the boys to pass
Announce that Regina Spektor is amazing,
And yell that
Shy people are interesting too.
I’m going to lay under the covers
eating junk food
texting and being on facebook
and if you don’t like it
well too bad.
Sometimes she writes about emotion,
which makes her think of a moment
when she was upset about her life,
which makes her think of her friends
which may or may not be true,
but she must love them or else.
Because her life may be significant or not,
but she thinks of this and writes at 11:11
and makes wishes after sneaking her iPod touch
into her bed and chatting on facebook
when she should be asleep
and when she sleeps she dreams
of her insignificant life
and her apparent disrespect for others
which makes her sob then recover
and medicate herself with music.
And sometimes when she’s alone
she’ll wish and scheme about going back
to simpler times than this.
How to be a girl
Watch Glee. Memorize all the songs. Read Teen Vogue.
Wear miniskirts with flip-flops that go between the toe
and spaghetti-strap tank tops from Abercrombie.
Text all your friends on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,
but never Tuesday. They’re always busy on Tuesdays.
Wear your hair either down and straight or in a
ponytail with a headband. Wear makeup. Love either the
Jonas Bros or Justin Beiber. Buy an iPhone, iPad
or Blackberry or iTouch. Get an iPod nano and Loud
Billionaire, Dynamite, Baby and Your Love is My Drug on it.
Anything else? Oh yeah. Swimsuits MUST be
either bikinis or tankinis. That’s it. I think.
Fear of not getting a care package
before camp is over
Fear of dying before I ever reach 20
Fear of a scary movie on a Saturday night
Fear of nature as it can wipe me off the face of this earth in a second
Fear of my mother dying while I’m asleep
and being too stubborn to get up
Fear of being alone
Fear of losing my best friend
Fear of finding my mom and dad hung at their will,
just to save me
Fear of the end of the world
Fear of all of this happening before I turn 13
It boils inside you
a bubbling inferno, ready to burst.
a rain cloud that pours heavy drops of water
onto your already fragile soul.
a spark that lights up your gut
when you see what you hate.
the sun that lights your day
and fills you with glee
Just knowing it’s there.
In the light of day
I am so very calm
As apple juice.
When I lie alone
In the dark, My insides
And fold in on themselves
Why? Why do I
second guess myself?
And melt my insides together
Like a painting in the rain
Lying all alone
In the dark?
Being a girl is a pretty tough job.
You’re expected to be perfect.
You’re expected to be proud.
You’re expected to be pretty.
You’re expected to be kind.
You’re expected to be sweet.
You’re expected to blank your mind.
Well, what about being smart?
And saving personality?
What about being creative?
What about what makes me me?
The Real Me
Why don’t you see what is inside of me?
When you sit next to me, only because there are no
other seats, why can’t you see how hurt I feel?
Why don’t you see me so depressed that I’m crying on the inside?
Can’t you see through my exterior, the interior, the real me?
Why isn’t my face transparent, showing you my real feelings?
At 13, she knows more than most people can imagine.
She knows the pain of letting go.
She knows the warmth of a letter
and the chip of a note.
She knows the regret of following
and the pride of choosing.
She knows the pain of jealousy
and the fight of change.
She knows the happiness in friendship
and the pain in life.
She knows no story has a beginning nor end
and a smile with no fret.
She knows the sickness of health
and the embrace of a pen.
She knows the endless answers of life
that never really help.
She knows when to think and when to act.
She knows the magic of the mind
and the freedom of a page
the flick of a pencil
and the start of its rage.