Sep 23


I was going through books of
the history of the United States 
in a back room of the library that
smelled like pages about to fall apart
when I found a section that held
books written in braille.
I opened one and was struck
with wonder because all those
little raised dots were words.
They were a language with power.
They were understanding.
And I had no clue what meaning they held.
Sep 23
poem 0 comments challenge: Because

Ski Buddy

I joined alpine my freshman year of high school terrified.
I was one of two freshman on the team and
while nothing was done to ostracise me
I didn't feel like part of the group.
I loved it and almost envied you for your
open friendliness and how beatiful you are.
Everyone loved you, including me.

But nothing remarkable stood out until
fall of sophomore year.

We were both on the cross country team
but becuase of its huge size
we hadn't known eachother the previous year,
but that first day you ran up to me
with the biggest smile yelling "Liz!"
and gave me the biggest hug.

In that moment you made me feel like
the most important person in the world.
Our friendship grew from there and
so did my confidence.
We became ski buddies and after you left,
I made sure to greet each new skier
with as much enthusiasm as you geeted me with.

I love you.
Jun 21


When I was in preschool
my favorite color was purple
because I loved the way
a new purple crayola marker
looked on a fresh piece of paper.

By kindergarten I decided
I needed to dislike purple
because it was too girly
so I started searching
for a new favorite color.

Babysitting my three and a half year old
cousin I discovered
her favorite color is purple.
It made me smile and miss
new purple crayola markers
even though I have fallen in love
with the shade of green
a hemlock turns when covered
in snow on a sunny day.
Jun 13


I had to explain to my class
the sublte differences in cows.
The difference between
a calf, heifer, and cow.
The difference between
a dry and a fresh cow.
Maybe this is why
I was voted 
class farmer.

(These are heifers)
Jun 09

Thank You

I joined YWP at the beginning of my eighth grade year. This was during the same time period my family and I were considering an English tutor for me, because even though I read two books a day, I couldn't form a coherent sentence. We never ended up getting that English tutor. Throughout eighth grade it seemed I was miraculously getting better at writing, not good enough to be in the accelerated classes my freshman year with my friends, but good enough. I wasn't really satisfied with good enough though. I continued writing on YWP and I continued working in school. My sophomore year I was in the accelerated English program with my friends. I wrote on YWP all through sophomore year and started dabbling in photography too. 

Jun 08


My teacher thinks I'm strange
I love snow the way
some people love sun.

Snow feels good the way
icy lemonade in August
feels good.

Snow feels good the way
freshly brushed teeth
feel good.

Snow feels good the way
clean sheets just off the line
feel good.

Snow feels good the way
a never read before book
feels good.

Snow feels good the way
fun and happiness
feels good.
Jun 07

Listen Carefully

Listen carefully as
lavender blooms out of the blue
and blue ribbons
sprout out of the wild blue yonder
a whirlpool under the full moon
elephants drink radical nectar of strawberries
on a bluff of bougainvillea
Jun 07


In my hometown
we don't have black widows or monsoons,
but we break wishbones on Thanksgiving.

The antique brass planters no longer shine
but they hold the sunflowers and the one
in my backyard marks the yellow jacket nest.

At night when it seems the earth has
been swallowed by a black hole
embers blossom in the dark
and we gather to tell bittersweet stories.
Jun 07


the sky starts with azure
and fades to alice

lavender dances in the grass
between patches of sienna sand

the clouds on the horizon are 
no longer navajo white but slate

her chartreuse dress does not belong
in the coquelicot or marigold

Jun 05


Mama said not to worry about it.
Mama said she didn't want us thinking about it.
Mama ushered us away from the TV.

I wanted to say
I'm seventeen Mama!
You don't need to protect me anymore.
You don't need to warn us
that its slippery on the ice.
You don't need to protect us from learning about shootings
and bombings and attacks that
I don't remember not knowing about.

Mama we had a bomb threat last week.
It was just some kid looking to get out of exams.
Mama they don't warn you before it really happens.
Jun 05


I always dreamed of finding
a hidden door in my closet
or under the stairs
that would take me to a new world
with unicorns and dragons
and centaurs and fairies
and fauns and talking animals
and I could be a hero.
I could be strong and brave
and smart and beautiful.
I guess I didn't realize
I could be those in real life.
Jun 05


i find myself
watching plants
and marveling
at how
photosynthesis works
the photons
exciting electrons
to make them jump

down the
electron transport chain
along the thylakiod membrane

and water is split
so that the electron
from the water
can replace the
electron lost

and the energy
from the movement
of the electrons
is used to produce

to be used
in the dark reaction

where carbon dioxide
is added and
two turns of the calvin cycle

churns out C6H12O6
a chemical form
of energy

to be used in
cellular respiration
which i also find

from this
i have concluded that
plants are actually
ruling the world
after all
May 31

Baby Skin

I've learned that all little kids
smell the same.
Baby skin with a hint of dirt.
Play with a hint of life.
Hope, somehow in a scent.
Kindergarteners still smell
like little kids,
no matter what they've seen.
May 22


Thank you
for telling me
that by the time
I reached high school
I'd start
straightening my hair.
It made me refuse to for years
simply out of spite.
It made me compliment
every curl I saw
because I was determined
to love my hair
and make every girl love hers.

Thank you
for not loving my hair,
you made me love it,
even if it was just out of spite
for a while.
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.