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These pieces are selected for publication by YWP Staff, mentors and this site's Community Leaders. If you wish to participate in the selection, contact Susan Reid.


Feb 10
megabaker's picture

Today the Baby Crawled on Me

by Toby Baker-Rouse

Today the baby crawled on me 
With kisses and with drool
My mother brought him up the stairs
To get me up for school

Today the dog, she jumped on me
She sat upon my head
My mother brought her up the stairs 
To get me out of bed

Today my sister woke me up
With stomping and a yell
She thumped her way down all the stairs
Louder than alarm bells

Today my brother jumped on me
My blankets he did take
My mother sent him up the stairs 
To see I was awake

Today my mother sang to me
As she is apt to do
It's very loud and all off key
But gets me up for school.

Today nobody woke me up
I slept till almost noon
I wore pajamas, read and played
But Monday comes too soon.
Feb 06
MaggieClark's picture


I stare at the young puppy. His eyes reflect the light, and his tongue wags freely about his mouth. “I’ll think about it” I whisper, the puppy paws at  the cage and its face fills with dread, as I turn in the other direction. I look back and the puppy, it has already forgotten my face. He chases his tail, never once thinking about the maybe home, that he maybe had.
Jan 27

Icy Silence, Water and Sight

Everything is icy when you dive underwater
It leaves you no time to think, to wonder whether you made the right choice
It leaps into your skeleton
You are suspended in what only you can feel 
Opening your eyes
Everything is blurry 
Green and blue
Your eyes sting, and are closed once again
Blind, you propel yourself through the bubbles that dance all over your skin
They waltz with the goosebumps that cover you

Smooth and silky, wanders and caresses you
You hear nothing
You are alone
You are singular, you are infinite
You are beautiful
Any sound is muffled
As your hair floats around
It haloes your face
Brushes your cheek
Your eyelashes

Your toes brush the rough mush of the bottom
Stretching, you descend
Kneeling, you listen
These are the last moments
That you will hear
Jan 14
hannah.banana23's picture

My life through someone else's eyes

I like to think
I am invincible 
but sometimes I am not invincible to the words
that follow me around 

I live my life on wheels
four, to be exact
and I am used to it
but some people are not
they think I am not able...
just because I have a DISability

They stare and when I see them stare 
they pretend that they haven't been looking 
but inside, I know they have
and when I walk they seem surprised 
like I am sick and can't ever walk
but I CAN and sometimes 
I feel judged

They say things like,
"She can't run, let's wait for her,"
but I want to show them
just how fast I can fly. 
Jan 10

Hearts and Mustard

"The doctor said his artery...oh hon, did he say artery or valve...?"

My grandfather, who is sitting directly next to my grandmother, shrugs as he takes a monstrous bite out of his Whopper. 
The thin paper rattles in his hands as a spurt of mustard decisively takes residence on his upper lip. 
He chews as my grandmother continues her story, turning her body towards my mother and I. 

"Anyway, the doctor said his artery, or valve, was shaped like a heart, now isn't that just beautiful?"

I smile, because I'm looking at the mustard. Yes, it is beautiful, grandma. Very beautiful. 

Jan 01
Maisie N's picture

Slow Dance

You watch your life fly by through a window.
I stare at it emptily through a screen,
Preferring to watch rather than participate
In a life I have never felt, only seen.
Years pass and we grow up.
Things change, friends leave.
We say goodbye and then hello.
One thousand, two thousand nineteen.

You better slow down,
Dance steady for a while
Because life is too short.
To fight time is futile.
Waltzes last longer
When held close with a smile.
So dance like a lover
Rather than a child.

Take a breath, you're doing fine.
Place your hands on my waist
And I will keep time.
You'll get better with age
Like a fine, red wine.
Just let the music swell
And know you are alive.

One more step toward me
And we'll be right in line.
So come a little closer
Put your lips on mine.
Nothing feels so perfect
Right here at midnight
Jan 01
helen_goodyear's picture

Black Holes

What happens, class

When a star dies?

I know

My hand shows it

Flying in the air

Casting a shadow upon those

Who know

how to sleep

I know

Says the red circled A

On my papers

Creating a red aura

On those who ate breakfast this morning

And the last

I know

Says the bags under my eyes

And the bags slung over my shoulder

Filled with textbooks

I know

Because I pushed that her out of my weekend

I know

Because I told him I didn’t have time

I know

Because I spend so much time making them proud

That they don’t see me

They don’t see the real me

Because she's hiding behind  

A computer


A deadline


A report card

I couldn’t find her
Dec 17


Dec 12
poem 0 comments challenge: General
rubinl's picture


Every time the snow falls down
Elegant snowflakes dance to the ground
Though each one is different and very small
It doesn't really matter at all
So why do we look at just their skin
When so much more lies within

We see their icy crystal form
But fail to notice what matters more
They may not be the same at all
But in the end that fact is small
They are as different as they are alike
But should all be the same when it comes to flight

Every time the snow falls down
Elegant snowflakes dance to the ground
Though each one is different and very small
It doesn't really matter at all
So why do we look at just their skin
When so much more lies within.

Dec 07
joseph.deffner's picture


Dec 02
joseph.deffner's picture


The brittle air encases anyone who steps out
The soft snowflakes brush your skin and get stuck in your hair
The winter is beautiful but brutal

The cold came swiftly to Vermont
In early November it was already turning young girl’s cheeks pink

The snow came soon after
Making the state a winter wonderland

Snowball fights were held on the green
Girls against boys, of course

Snow angels are sprinkled in yards
And the big hills had sled marks all over.

Nov 26

Confessions of the Broken Hearted

I am a thief. 

I have stolen
time so that 
it stretches like
pizza dough; 
I have hid it in my pockets
like a stolen chocolate. 
I have melted and 
molded it to fit
the shape of 
my palm, 
I have stolen 
I stole it to 
make the 
seconds feel like minutes
and the minutes feel
like hours and
the hours feel like days and
the days
feel like

I have stolen 
time so that 
it bends and 
ripples to go by
my rules, so that
we'll never have to say
so that
I'll never have 
to kiss your 
cold cheek
one last time,
as tears
create oceans
on my face,
and tissues become
paper sailboats, 
lost in the
storm of my sadness, 
I. Steal. Time. 

So that it stops, 
and when 
I look at you, 
our smiles are 
Audio download:
Audio Recording 3.m4a
Nov 24

The Winter Painters

The brushes of the winter wind
Whisk across the cottage windows.
Only in the darkness do they paint
For they are shy
And work best in the night.
When the world is fast asleep
They come
They come across the freezing moor
Peering in the windows of all the houses
Riding the tendrils of clouds
Carried along by the gusts of chilly wind.
They come to each window
And dip their brushes in the frosty air.
Then they create 
They paint small spirals and designs all over the glass.
They dance through the winter air and dab at their canvas.
When each window is a masterpiece
They retreat back to the sky.
In the morning,
The children wake up and gasp in surprise at the painters' work.
They use their fingers to add their own touches to the frosty art.
Soon the sun
Melts away their work 
Clearing the canvas
So the winter painters can cover them once more.
Nov 17
poem 6 comments challenge: General

The Little Things

In our society we’re consumed by the number of likes we receive,
It’s assumed if you don’t have pages, and pages of friends you’re lonely,
But only, this media we call social is anything but,
Driving us further and further away from communication,
Take a break from your phone,
Appreciate the life around you,
Don’t let it slip away,
Don’t let social media control you,
Look at the beautiful trees that surround you,
Listen to the spectacular sounds that are around you,
Appreciate the little things in life,
The most simple of them all,
Maybe someone said “Hi,”
Maybe someone said “Bye,”
Maybe someone held the door,
Maybe someone did more,
Don’t ignore these little things in life,
Because in our society,
We will not be consumed by the number of likes we receive.
Nov 07


We always meet here.

The waiter comes, I order some coffee
He asks where she is
I say she’s on her way

I can smell her
This place smells of her
She smells of this place
Our memories smell of here
They always will.

I wait.

I finish my coffee and order more; decaf
She always gets decaf, I remember
I don’t want this coffee anymore

I wait.
It’s late.
I leave.

I'd told the waiter she was on her way
Audio download:
Oct 29
zazu's picture

wondering why

I see the girl with the long brown hair walk down the halls, with a permanent smile plastered onto her face. It looks natural, but I know that it isn't— It's forced. She's pretending to be someone she's not so that people will like her more. I wonder why.

I see the boy with the jet black hair bouncing a basketball down the hallway. He's a good dribbler, but I know he doesn't really like sports, he likes science. He pretends not to though, so that he might get noticed more. I wonder why.

I see the girl with the tinted glasses skipping and twirling down the hallway. Most people give her a strange look as she passes by. I smile at her and she smiles back. It's not a fake smile. She's happy and ease—not trying to hide anything about her vibrant personality. Everyone else must wonder why.  
Oct 15


I cut through my spiraling, twisting, coalescing thoughts by turning my attention to my phone.
I press the small button to wake it up.
I look at the time.


I turn again, this time away from my phone, and the thoughts come back.
Foggy, confused, uncontrollable.
I think about every action I took today
And how I could have done things differently
Said things in other ways
Left people alone for certain amounts of times.
It feels like I could think about every single thing I did for hours and hours and get no answers,
No conclusions.

I’d have to do something else.

I fumble around with small objects
I tidy the space around me
I shift a glass just a little to the right
I glance at my phone.
I hit the small button, and the phone lights up.
I see the time.



I pick up my phone and text the person I need answers from.
Oct 11
sophie.d's picture

On A Deserted Road

In a muddy gray car
On a thirsty dirt road
She drives with no destination in mind. 

The last drops of
Balmy air whip her hair
Into a thorny halo
And guitar-rich music
Trails behind the car.

Sweetness diffuses into
Her nose
Along with hints
Of ripening leaves
Distant cow manure
And a future pumpkin patch
(She smells her mom in the kitchen).

The sun is hovering
Somewhere over a golden lake
But she can't keep her eyes
Off the pink-streaked sky
Set over the orange speckled hills-
A crown atop a queen.

She's afraid she won't
stay on the road
As beauty hijacks her senses
But she doesn't care
Because she has nowhere to go but
Where the sky leads her.

The leaves skip from their branches
The sun melts into the lake
The last popsicle of the season.

She turns off the engine
Oct 09


There is something magical in the leaves during Autumn. 
Oct 04
poem 1 comment challenge: Almost
Ella23's picture

Beginnings Always End

The scene in front of her was almost perfect.  


The sun was setting with gold and pink streaks,

The Robins were singing with glee as they swooped low into the treeline,

Light was shining down onto my golden hair with the warm breeze waving to the sun,

As if to say goodbye.

It was almost perfect,


The frost that would fall next morning would only last for an hour or two,

But soon it would stay until the grass was covered in a soft, cold blanket.

The Maples would start to turn,

Leaving the trees bare and alone.

The occasional Weeping Willow would have a friend or two,

Burrowed into the trunks of trees to fall into a deep slumber.

Robins would leave,

To go somewhere else where they could sing and swoop low into a treeline,

Warm breezes would soon be hidden by the frigid winds of winter,