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Jul 13


"I would cut my mouth if it meant I could swallow the world."
When you said that all those years ago, I laughed it off. I thought you were joking, that it was another Eila thing. I didn't notice your face then. Your eyes were hard, jaw set. Your hand trembled, but I didn't see that either.
When you were admitted to that mental hospital, everyone was whispering. You dropped out of school and I couldn't walk home with you. I worried that you'd finally gone too far, cut too deep. You knew I could never stop you with my words and I could never touch you. I didn't want to hurt you, but instead, you hurt yourself.
I saw you again a year later. I'd moved on, or so I thought. I found different friends, ones who didn't have histories with eating disorders, schizophrenia, or self-harming tendencies. When I saw you again, my eyes widened. The whole hall quieted as you moved through, people making a path for you. Our eyes met and mine widened. 
Your eyes were dead. 

Jul 05
Sirena Birch's picture

The Competence Of A Patriot

I was once asked 
If I am a patriot
And finally
I have found my answer
My ancestors are Abenaki
Who understood
Every living thing
Has a spirit and a soul

And we as humans are no more entitled
Than any creature on this earth
Call them wild
But seemingly they alone
Saw the future of the white man

They alone saw the borders
The pollution
The greed
Of the white man

Competent enough to understand
The absurdity
Of the white man

Stealing land
From our hospitable mother
Hiding behind green paper
Foraged from chopped trees
By a white man

Spirits left haunted and unthanked
For there empty sacrifices
And metal disks
Forced down the throats of 
Thrusted into the fists of those unblinded enough to see the truth
Metal disks imprinted
Jul 05
alaenah156's picture

I Believe There is More Than Us

There's a field near my house that holds something big. Secrets and history and knowledge, and everything that is unknown to me. In the winter, a soft coat of snow covers it like a fluffy blanket, making it look like an endless spread of white. In the spring bright yellow daisies grow from the ground, eager to blow in the wind. I long to run through them and lie with them. In the summer, wildflowers spring from the ground, growing up towards the sun, as if they long to be let free from the confines of the soil.  In the fall the leaves float from the trees and cover the field with browns, yellows, and reds, signaling the start of winter.
Jun 24
poem 5 comments challenge: General


I want my mother
at night.
When my body catches up with my mind
and my face unfolds from sleep so I can
remember every detail of the dream that woke me.

I want my mother
at night.
When I stumble from my raised bed to hers
two rooms down and to the left.
Her covers are better,
her arms warmer,
her breath reassuring.

I want my mother
at night.
When I lose my first tooth
and I don't know if the fairy will come
because I might have put it under my pillow too late.

I want my mother
at night.
When she keeps the light on in her room
while she reads the bills until the morning.

I want my mother 
at night.
When the shouting reverberates in my ears,
about how what we have is not enough
How the crops are nothing compared to NAFTA.

I want my mother
at night.
When the days are getting longer
Jun 15


   I come from the stars.
   No, really, I do.
   I remember what it was like up there, shining so brightly along with all the other stars.
   We were family.
   Then, one day, my star fell. At least that is what I think happened. That is what it felt like…
   I woke up one day, just a small child lying beneath a tree. I was found by a policeman, and was soon adopted by an elderly couple. At first, I thought that everyone had once been stars, just like me. I soon realized that this was not the case. As far as I knew, I was the only Starman on earth.
Jun 11

Am I losing my Identity?

In my life I have lived in far more places than some others my age. I have lived in the Middle East , The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and I am currently residing in Denmark.
Jun 05

Not Bilingual

Note: I wrote this for my AP Lang class.

    As I read the paper this assignment was on, I felt a rush of excitement. This would be the chance for me to tell my story. Snippets of half-formed ideas were playing through my head and I felt that the pieces of a fully coherent essay were beginning to slowly weave themselves into a tapestry that would give the viewer a glimpse into my life. I could write about how language creates greater difficulties for Chinese-American girls than Chinese-American boys. I could write about growing up with Chinese as my first language but now checking the “English is my first language” box on official forms. Needless to say, I left class feeling ready to tackle the assignment.
May 30


May 28

War Isn't Easy

Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a soldier.
I wanted to use the big, fancy guns
And wear the camouflage outfits.
I wanted to be just like my dad and grandpa and great-grandpa
And make my mother proud.
I wanted to fight for a better country
So that one day
My own children could live freely as I have.
But nobody ever told me
That war isn’t easy.
Watching your little baby grow up isn’t easy.
You no longer need to hold them when they’re scared
Or wipe their tears when they fall.
You no longer need to remind them which shoe goes on which foot
Or to always say please and thank you.
You see them lose their need for you
And can’t help but wonder what comes next.

Telling your own mother and father that you’re leaving isn’t easy.
Watching your mother cry and beg you not to go feels like an arrow to the heart.
You haven’t even left yet
May 20

Lessons From School

Editor's Note: This piece is also featured May 25 as a top read on! See it in YWP's The Crow on Medium.

I have been taught many things in school this year
including, but not exclusive to,
how photosynthesis and cellular respiration work on a molecular level,
the U.S. debt on May 10, 2018 at about 9:40 was roughly $21,145,528,000,000.00,
how to create a short story,
how to take the derivative and anti derivative of an equation,
what a sonnet is,
how to do a turn in attitude,

and the best strategies to survive a school shooting.
The best of which seems to be not being at school.
But here are some more, for those of you that don't already know.

    1) Get to the nearest classroom or secure space and lock the door.
    2) Stay against a wall or on the floor.
May 18

Fun & Games

May 16


May 05


Apr 30

Out Of Smoke and Stars, The Latter Loses.

Her face turns cold as stone
as I watch her father grip her shirt,
pulling her forward, touching their foreheads together,
his face red as he dictates what she can and cannot be.

I watch as my best friend's heart is torn out
by the person who made it.
The slurs that fall from his cold, chapped lips 
and the smoke that curls from a cigarette left burning in a dish by the door
remind me of our childhood,
here, in this home, the place that always smelled 
slightly like lavender and incense,
the air fogged with lost inhibitions.

And as he swings at her, his eyes wild and his ears shut,
deaf to her pleas,
I remember holding her close,
hugging her body, wrapping mine around her while
she sobbed about her mother-- lying dead in the soil behind her home.

I remember how we found each other when we were both suffocating,

Apr 23

Data Snake

My hand twitches
Like a snake, it slithers toward my pocket.
Looking for a flashy device
that will provide an escape from boring reality,
gulping down music, images, videos
to feed itself  
hungry for more
maybe one day it will finally
shed its skin.
My hand comes out empty.
My prey has escaped.
I feel the panic setting in.
Desperately rummaging around,
looking for a part of myself
that I have lost.
But then I remember.
It's in my backpack.
Warm relief drips through my body.
Nothing to worry about.
I unzip the my backpacks sack.
Peeking into a dark hole,
all I see is a bunch of forgotten clutter.
My phone shines like a beacon of light
through the jumbled mess.
I yank it out, along with my headphones
ready to jam to some catchy tunes.
I scream in horror.
The headphones are a tangled up disaster.
A knotted bizzare lump of plastic.  
Apr 12
Monster_T_02's picture


Somedays, I relate to the zombies in my stories.
The anger, the feeling of wanting to explode.
The zombies in my stories have thoughts,
But they hate people in their personal space.
They act as if they are not in control of their actions.
Somedays, I relate to the zombies in my stories.
Brooding, unwanting to share.
The inability to get close to others without snapping.
Cranky, protective of things I can't see.
Loud noises setting me into a frenzy,
Somedays, I relate to the zombies in my stories.
Sad, unable to control what I'm feeling.
Vulnerability makes me hostile.
I'd rather die than let someone touch me.
Somedays, I relate to the zombies in my stories.
Not wanting to hurt others.
Confused, lost, and tormented.
Scar tissue underneath the surface, 
Leaving places along my back sore.
Years after the assault.
As if there was a bite that wouldn't heal.
Apr 11

One of the Girls

"With the way she talks she must love attention."
I don't love the attention.
I talk just as much as him
and the next guy
and the guy before him.
God forbid my words roar and rumble
the way others did
and I don't mold myself like clay
to bend over backwards
and break my fragile, hollowed bones
to serve you.

My loud mouth draws in the world around it,
devours the air,
and feeds my vocal cords with oxygen,
fans the flames,
feeds them,
as they burn and spew red hot embers.
Dragons don't exist?
To hell with it,
we're here
and spitting flames,
licking at your toes
and burning the soles of your sore feet
as we scream.

We're shouting because you refuse to listen,
and we'll shout until it hurts,
until we see red,
and we'll keep goin.
We'll keep fighting
and demanding,
because we deserve space just as much as you.
Apr 04


Tuesday is my T day.
The first month, I was excited for Tuesday to come,
waking up early just to be sure my injections were timed;

wake up
wash hands
sterilize leg
fill syringe
swap needle
push out air
grab leg
hover needle over leg until confident enough to insert (approximately seven minutes)
pull back; check for blood
remove needle
place in sharps container
scramble for bandaid if needed.

I have begun my fourth month of carefully choreographed Tuesday mornings.
Today’s Tuesday was a bleeder: I think I nicked a vein when removing.
In month two, I forgot to eat beforehand and almost passed out.
I remembered to put on shoes before I laid down on the floor.

In month three I bought a razor.
I don’t shave often, but my chin hairs protrude enough
that they must be chopped down regularly.
Mar 17

Dear Stephen Hawking

Dear Mr. Hawking,
I'm sorry I didn't do this on Wednesday.
You died on Wednesday.
Albert Einsteins birthday,
to be precise.

When the news told us
that you were dead I 
stared at the screen in shock.

How can you not be 
on the earth anymore when 
in the span of my short life,
you always have been.

You were a famous scientist,
teaching us that the laws of physics
were beyond what we really imagined,
that black holes really weren't that 

You thought that there 
were multiple worlds beyond
what we could see.

You were a hero,
because even though you were diagnosed
with ALS and confined to 
a wheelchair,
you did not let these things stop you.

You were a miracle,
because you survived ALS
decades longer than the doctors
told you that you would.

You were a miracle,