By: Isobel Gaedtke

Thanking and giving
Dancing and singing

I love the feast,
The warm mashed potatoes,
The bread filled with yeast
And made with all doughs

The smell of pumpkin fills the air
As kids sit in a circle and take turns with dares

We sit at a table filled with warm treats
And a delicious feast
We talk and laugh,
Taking our time

Family together,
Loving each other forever

Memories are sweet and unique
They help us understand all we seek
But memories don’t define us
We should never make a fuss

Chances are earned
Useless memories are burned

But thanksgiving reminds us
Of all that we are grateful for
To remember those who fought in the war
Afraid of doing less and instead doing more

I am grateful for my happiness and I stand for those who have less

Broken Technology and Stolen Souls

By: Isobel Gaedtke

There it is, there it is
I feel powerless against it
I don’t know what to do
For it is all too new
To understand

It keeps taking, and it’s taking, and it’s taking
Breaking me, taking me
Away to the unknown
Although I feel like a drone
It takes me

It blurs my vision as I understand the mission
Not knowing of the power that seeps into me
Something that I can’t see
But I won’t, I can’t
It pulls me, grabs at me, scratches me

It scares me,
Dares me to push back

I pull and pull
As it takes my soul
Until at last I finally pull free
I am free
And now I can see
I was taken, broken
Feeling like a token

I am breathing
I am seething
Knowing I was the prize
For a criminal in disguise

But I am free at last
And now I can see the past and the outlines
Of what I used to be

Our Night

A Poem by Madyn Strauss

I remember the way the night filtered through the canopy above.
The yelping of the other kids shot through the speckled sky with every gust of wind.
The breeze carried our laughter through the air as we pranced our way through the undergrowth.
My heart was brimful and innocent as we chased our way through the woods.
A small game of chase, pure as the bright stars that rippled through the sky above.

Our night, our most wonderful, euphoric night was turned against us.
There were five of us.
Then four.
Then three.
Then two.
And then there were none.
No other children in the woods.

The laughter that carried our path through the night was hushed and small,
A faint memory of what once was.
They were taken.
Far from the woods and our happy little creek, away with their innocence and brimful hearts.
The creek was empty and our nights stayed forever silent.
Pardoned by the haunting cries from the ground beneath.

Our night,
Our most innocent, euphoric night was cut short.
The air was as still as my steps, walking back through those woods, well above the age I was,
Back in those days where we played and cheered, yelped and chased, my heart heavy.
The wind whirled its warning, pushing me back.
The woods were no longer welcoming, its arching trees bent, the leaves stared, watchful.
My ginger steps guided me.
The familiar shouts and mournful cries of parents.
My police badge twinkled under the morning light.
The payment to my friends-their crying parents too-
And maybe to me as well,
For my friends still exist,
But their presence has dwindled.

In our little woods,
The night their souls were taken,
A songlike sound of the emptiness that bound its way down the forest, weaving past the trees,
Sat a tiny little creek.
When our night was taken, so very long ago.

War We Have All Lived

By: Olivia Todd

We have hoped and dreamed
That one day our only world
Could finally settle at peace
But still we must suffer

We must hide at the bottom
Of the hill gaining certainty
They don’t see us

We have donations and donations
Of food and water but somehow
For everyone it’s not enough

We have thousands of citizens
That have died due to the enemy’s

Do they see us that way?
We fight back just as they did
No weapon can build a wall
To protect them, defenseless

The crime goes both ways
Crossfire shouts its burst
The only question is
Is it a two-way fight
Or is it the first?

Can we be a threat to them
Just as they are to you and me
Would they stay in shooting range and stand up
Or leave and forget their country

We are all the same
We can all be scared
We can all feel the pain and
Grief of losing someone whom we have cared for, deeply

And when the cloud stops
The ticking of our lives
We know we were the ones
Who made the sacrifice

MAP Test Anxiety

By: Olivia Fischman and Alexis Houstan

Waking up with butterflies in my stomach.
Worried about failing the big test.
How would I tell my parents if I did?
Will my family think I’m a failure?  

When I’m in school all I think about is the test.
I can’t stop thinking about the fact I could fail
I get on the test and my palms are sweating.
Do I remember this topic? When did I learn this?

Did I even learn this?
People are already done.
I’m on question 11.
I’m trying not to rush or guess.

People are getting such high scores.
What if I don’t reach my goal?
I don’t remember learning any of this
My teacher is telling us not to rush

That makes me wanna rush if they tell us not to
I might as well get it over with and rush like everyone else is.
I keep putting my head down and almost fall asleep.
I just need to focus. Maybe that will help.  

I went slowly through the questions.
I got a good score! 

Deafening Silence: A Poem

By: Izzy Rosa

She sat down softly on a moss covered log
Slightly elevated off the ground
She gazes around the forest floor
She couldn’t hear a sound

She was deaf at birth you see,
She depends solely on sight
So as she sits on this soft grimy log
She bathes and enjoys the light

But she always wonders
What life would be like
ith sound

As she zones out into the vast greenery and silence
And sinks her teeth into a carrot
She cries
She cries
She cries

She cant hear her wet sobs
But tastes the sweet carrot

She trudges home
Bumping into rough trees
Eyes still watery
Carrot still in hand

She runs through the scratchy bushes
The painful thorns
She arrives back to her humble warm home

She ran a cold shower
She jumped right in

She watched as all the grime
Melted off her body
Covering the shower floor

Until it is washed down the drain
In a gust of shower water and tears
That she will never hear

Winter Weather Haikus

By: Annika Blackburn

The tough fox survives
Scared squirrel hides in thick snow
The smart goose flies South

The Winter Squirrel
Scramble, Scurry, Sniff
Hurry, hurry snow puffs in
The hardy squirrel leaves

The First Snow
Majestic Black Clouds
Flakes gale lightly in the wind
Crystals shatter down

The Holidays
Snug voices whispered
A mildly blazing fireplace
Flakes hug the window

A Simple Breeze

By: Annika Blackburn

A cool breeze blows through
A child’s tangled, long brown locks
On a steamy, hot afternoon in July
Wind as gentle as her grandmother’s distant love
Fresh, playful, enlightening
Frozen in Time

Frigid, Sharp, Blistering
Running fast, not strong
Through the wintery cold
Ice like glass, ice that is blue
Hopeful, Vexatious, Indelible
A moment that you attempt to forget
But should be remembered

A Breezy Day
A part of life
Still in the morning
Blusterous by the afternoon
Tin cans and colorful plastic bags litter the sky
In an array of colors that matches the rainbow
And the portrait of the setting sun
A confusing breeze fingers your hair

“Here! Here!” the frantic mother screams
Her small children run
Whrrrr! Whrrrr!
Gutters shriek
Shingles fly
Wind rips
Tears, Perspiration, Grit
It is all a game to him
A 100-year-old house
Gone in a second
Very memorable

Powers life
Supplies energy
It whips colorful sand
Gray ice onto your nose
It squeezes out tears
Shapes lips into a smile
Wind will always be as mysterious as the morning dew
The Yin and Yang of memory

Poetry: What Might Happen Next

By Annika Blackburn

The dainty, pink-colored petals of the marigolds catch the sunlight
In a rainbow of mountain dew
The bluejays hum
As the forgotten squirrels gather the shells of spoiled acorns

Bulldozers plow
The excretion of riches fill the ground
Bulldozers plow
Sorrow fills the earth
A chip of beauty falls from the earth
Into the bucket of greed

Hot, muddy, fog
The dust of man
Gathered into a cloud of smoke
Oil and money
Left behind
A chip of beauty falls from the earth
Into the bucket of greed

It warms us
Controls us
Lives within us
Ziploc Bags
The world
Tangled in the net that bears prosperity
A chip of beauty falls from the earth
Into the bucket of greed

The dainty, pink-colored petals of the marigolds catch the nothing
In a rainbow of mountainous garbage
The bluejays wither and die
As the boney squirrels gather the emptiness of the world

Poetry: I Stare Back At Him

By Annika Blackburn

Cold, black, dark
Shiny eyes bore through me
White grass encases the stomach
An inverted blue blanket stirs the dotted navy branches
Of the night
Scaly fur in the bright of the darkness
Wooden plastic tints light
Creates the bright

Cold, black, dark
Tinted eyes bore through me
A ghost arises from shiny, blue porcelain
I stare back at him.  

Cold, black, dark
The shiny eyes of the impertinent street garbage bore through me
Crushes the worms of the dirt
The birds of the sky
Shades the light
Creates the bright

Cold, black, dark
A chalky white sky
Scratched by the dotted navy branches.
Stops the light
Creates the bright
I stare back at him