Various and Sundry Poetry

writings from Link Community Charter School

Earlier this year, Amy & I began volunteering at an amazing middle school in Newark, Link Community Charter School, offering an 8-week electives course to 7th and 8th grade students. Each Friday, we met with them for a 50-minute classroom period to talk about and practice creative writing and storytelling. We came back again in early spring for another 8 weeks, and just wrapped up the final session today. I'm retrieving some of the writings that I did along with the students that came out of our assignments. This one was about practicing using a refrain as a writing device in poetry:
 

He leans in, like a bird about to fly
And he's seesawing between two truths and a lie
And it's sometimes hard to look each other in the eye
And I don't know why, and I don't know why

I'm thinking how rarely I hear him cry
Not my baby, not my boy, not my history going by
And it's sometimes hard to look each other in the eye
And I don't know why, and I don't know why

He leans in, bony, big-haired, to say good-bye
And the skateboard swings against his thigh
And it's sometimes hard to look each other in the eye
And I don't know why, and I don't know why

He leans in like a lightning rod about to electrify
And I hear the impatience swimming in his sigh
And it's sometimes hard to look each other in the eye
And I don't know why, and I don't know why