Oct 15

We ran for Harwood

A sea of yellow and black ribbons
pinned to shirts,
tied in ponytails
and on the ends of braids
we ran for Harwood.

Oct 15

The Thing About Tragedy

The thing about tragedy
Is that it hits you once
Then lurks in a dark corner for a while
Trying to be forgotten
And just when it's almost succeeded
It comes out again.
It hits you even harder this time
Then again
And again
Until you're almost numb to the pain
Or you think you are
Until it hurts all over again.

Real tragedy
Is the hardest to be sad about
Because you don't even know
Where to begin
Because you don't understand
You can't even imagine.
And the longer time goes on
The less real it becomes
The more you question
The fewer answers you get.
Your tears won't come out
Because they don't believe it's true.

I still can't imagine.

Five lives, over.
Five friends, gone.
Five classmates, with no tomorrow.
Five kids my grade, five kids my own age.
And it doesn't matter that I didn't know them,
Oct 15
Maisie N's picture


The world seems so much bigger
When you're so very young
Your life seems so much longer
When it's just begun.
And you can do anything you desire
You don't have to pick just one.

You were a fantastic magician
You knew all of the best magic tricks
You captivated me your sleight of hand.
Just before you'd grant all my wishes.

You were also quite the sailor
You hopped over waves as they were rising
You sailed away and discovered new worlds
That lay just beyond the horizon.

But you we also a colorful mathematician
And you romanced everyone with your logic
While still believing in magic
Blowing them away with your wit.

But, best of all, you were a white night
With your suit of armor, flashing
I thought you looked quite dashing
With your shield in your grip.

Me? I'm just a poet
And I'm trying to tell your story

Oct 14

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

I guess I'm more than a day late and a dollar short. 
I've been putting this off, frowning and vomiting the words "that's terrible" and "I feel so bad" whenever someone brings them up. While a flood of emotion and support has washed over Harwood, the most I did was sign a banner my school had in the cafeteria today. I put a heart next to my signature, my first and last name, as if somehow that made my contribution more important. What did I even mean by adding that heart? Was I signing a greeting card, "with love"? Saying, "my heart goes out to you"? I colored it in with the same marker I signed with. Black. Why? Because it was a little lopsided, and I wanted to make it even. 
Oct 13

I'm so tired

I'm so tired,
Of hearing these kind of things.

“5 teens, killed in a car crash.”
“Killed on 1-89.”
They were juniors, I heard.
Older than me, but still young.
16, 17 years old?
Who knows?

I suppose it’s no one’s fault.
It’s been all over the local news.
In the newspapers.
On the screen.
In our hearts.
In our minds.
We send our prayers, our thoughts, our wishes,
For their eternal well-being.
And for their families and friends.

But I’m so tired,
So tired of hearing this stuff.
And it’s not just here;
It’s everywhere.
The world is a dark place.
Sickness, pain, and death.
We don’t even hear the half of it.
Everyday, people are suffering.
They’re dying.
And nobody knows about it.

I’m so tired,
Of hearing of this stuff.
But just because I’m tired,
Oct 12
Hannah Campbell's picture

I Still Have a Chance

     I remember the morning when our school's principal before block two had announced over the intercom that five Vermont teenagers had been killed in a car crash. At first, I was a bit surprised they had announced it. Were these students from our school? What happened? And mostly, I was fairly confused. After all, weren't there several things that happen like this all the time? It's all over the news, something like: "Dad killed daughter to get back at her mom", "A Mom Says She Asked Her Kids If They Wanted To 'Go To Heaven' Before Killing Them", or "Two teens dead in Riverdale double shooting". Those are just a couple quick headlines I found on a Google search just now. So many senseless deaths in the U.S. happen all the time, everyday, hundreds upon hundreds of deaths. What had these teens done that set them aside from all those other innocent peoples' lives? Why was their death so important? 
Oct 12
mnintzel's picture

October 8th, 2016

Not a date anyone wants to remember,
But a date that will always mean so much.
And in November,
We will be wishing we could be in touch.
Families, friends, schools, teams, towns.
We all stand together as one.
Although we cannot help, but continue to frown.
Since, well, we will all miss them a ton.
I am disgusted.
I am mad.
No one can be trusted.
Which is so sad.
It is not fair.
One man, killed five innocent teens.
Which I cannot bear.
Because they were all kings and queens.
I wish everything could change.
I wish I could take it all back.
Oh, it is so strange.
Since now all we have are flashbacks.
Mary, Cyrus, Liam, Eli, and Janie –
You will be forever missed.
And even on days that are so rainy,
Your souls will never be fully dismissed.
Oct 12


I can’t help but think that I will see you tomorrow,
but I know we aren’t promised that day.
You are long gone and so far away.
I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that this is true,
and the sky I look at will never again be blue...
On the side of Mt. Mansfield where your ashes now sit,
I feel like my heart can’t take another emotional hit.
I want you to know I miss you more than ever as I sit here on my bedroom floor,
and think to myself, “Nothing will change the memories we had just days and hours before.”
If there was one thing I could do,
it would be to give up everything just so I could see you.
You may be gone for now from me in person,
but your memory lives on, and you will never be forgotten.


Oct 11

A Nightmare Unfolds

I woke up and scrolled through my facebook notifications, and I saw the headline. "Five Dead In Horrific Wrong-Way Crash" or something like that. I read it of course, because I read about most of the accidents I hear about, out of curiosity. They hadn't released names or age yet, and I felt sorrow for whoever had lost these friends and family members. I got to church later that morning and people were asking me how I was holding up. I was confused, unsure why they were asking me that. Someone walked past me in tears, and I finally put two and two together. I asked if their was an update on the accident, and that's when I found out two of the names had been discovered. That's when I found out about Janie and Mary. My heart broke, and my worst fears were confirmed. I spent the next hour waiting for more news, and I finally got it. The other three names. Eli, Liam, and Cyrus. And I just felt this weight fall on me.
Oct 11

The romanticization of candlelight

”Is everything okay? Why are you mad?” He asks.
”I’m not mad babe” I reply. He doesn't believe me it's kind of refreshing how well he knows me.
The truth is I’m anything but okay. As cliche as that sounds.

For the past two days, I’ve been haunted by the fact that a girl from my school had to lose her life. I saw her a few days ago before she left. I gave her a hug and told her, ”Take care of yourself.” She smiled without her teeth looked over her shoulder at me and I never saw her or that smile again.
Oct 11

Five Lives

Wake to sun, skies blue and clear.
Five lives.
Five lives.
Five lives.

Celebrate another year.
Five lives.
Five lives.
Five lives.

Happy birthday! Did you hear?
Five lives.
Five lives?
Five lives.

Blow the candles! Wipe your tears!
Five lives.
Five lives.
Five lives.

Twenty-five and naught to fear.
Five lives.
Five lives.
Five lives.


Photo by Paul Downey via Flickr. Creative Commons.

Five Lives

Editor's Note: Late at night on Oct. 8, 2016, five teenagers, returning from watching a concert in Burlington, were killed in a crash on I-89 in Williston, VT, the result of a wrong-way driver who later injured four others. Their names: Eli Brookens, 16, of Waterbury; Janie Cozzi, 15, of Fayston; Liam Hale, 16, of Fayston; Mary Harris, 16, of Moretown and Cyrus Zschau, 16, of Moretown.

This tragedy has shattered hundreds of lives, including their many classmates at Harwood Union High School and Kimball Union Academy. YWP welcomes youths who knew them -- and those who didn't -- to share their thoughts in this community. If you would, use the hashtag: #FiveLives as a way to connect all that is written.

Our hearts go out to all of you -- family, friends, educators, community members. As one youth who knew them told us, "the whole Valley area is going to be a mess for a while." Indeed.
Oct 11

The Lost, The Stolen

This is dedicated to the five teens taken from our world far too soon. Rest in peace Mary, Eli, Liam, Janie, and Cyrus. You may be gone but you will certainly never be forgotten.

no one can explain
not one word can be said 
not because it's unclear
but because it's just so hard

they say one foot in front of the other
but you have to get up first
they say breathe
but the air feels as though it has been taken from us

just as you have been taken from us
stolen from our world
we come together 
to heal the hurt that is left behind

we miss you physically
we miss your spirits
we miss your presence
we miss your energy

it's hard to bear
it's hard to swallow 
it's hard to think, or to speak
it's hard not having you here

a candle for your warmth
a lantern for your spirit 
a word for your heart
but nothing can replace you
Oct 10

One Mistake

In one mistake
one stupid mistake
five young lives were lost. 
In the instant of fire 
and metal crunching
the world appeared a little
through once innocent eyes. 

And you can't take that back.
No matter what. 


Oct 10


I went to your vigil tonight. It's weird to say that: I went to your vigil. 
We released lanterns and held candles and stood together. I didn't cry. Almost, but not quite. 
They had food there. Almost no one ate it. I didn't feel right, enjoying a cookie when you couldn't. My mouth was too dry anyway.
Apparently you're famous now; national news and everything. You've become one of those stories people gasp at and say how horrible it is, and then go look at videos of kittens to cheer themselves up. After all, it couldn't happen to anyone they knew. 
You were people that I knew. 
It almost doesn't feel as though it happened. I can't comprehend the fact that you were here four days ago and now you just... aren't. 
Oct 10

5 Lives

October 8th, 2016, five lives were lost this day,
In such a tragic and horrible way.
Eli Brookens, you were the one I knew best,
And it saddens me that in such a short time you and your friends all went to rest.
I wish there was some way I could turn back time,
Instead of taking this wretched emotional climb.
I miss you already, and I want you to come back,
But I know that is not happening, and my heart is being attacked.
You filled our lives with your laughter and joy,
And you were not just like every other boy.
You were different I would say,
I wish, I wish, that you did not have to go away.
When I met you two summers ago,
I never thought that our silly baseball friendship would grow.
Every time I saw you,
You would always say hi, and ask how baseball was too.
You asked me to go to your soccer game one day,
But you somehow forgot to mention I had to pay.
Oct 09

A Tragic Accident

"I'm not sure if you heard, but there was a tragic accident last night..."
​"A car crash..."
​"Five high school juniors died..."
​My heart raced. What happened? Who was it? From BFA? Were they my friends? Are Kayla, Rosie, Steph, Abby, Lonna, Sara, Sam, Gen, and all the others okay? Please let them be okay. Please don't let them be from BFA. Please don't let them be someone I knew.
​"They were from Harwood."
​I breathed a sigh of relief. No one I know. And then another mental crash, because someone knows them. They were someone's friends, somebody's family. And now I wonder if I somehow did know them. If they ran cross-country or track, if they skied, if they wrote, because we are all connected somehow. And I hope none of my friends knew them, because I don't want them to go though that pain, even though I know someone is. I hope they find peace someday.