By Melanie Aguilera, Winner of the Walt Whitman Poetry Contest
A cool gem in water catches my eye,
A glint of sunlight on its majesty
Emphasizes the water’s clarity.
To think that many are too vain,
And too oblivious-
To appreciate the eighth wonder of the world,
Many wake up for a thirst
For either a gem or a glass of water.
Put a line of people on the bank of the river.
Watch who runs for the gem,
And watch who goes for water.
A fight breaks out for the gem.
Lives are lost,
A child is left without a parent.
Many have torn clothing
and blood streaked cheeks,
Others are on the ground catching their breath,
Many are on the ground who will never gain theirs back;
Only one has the gem.
But at what cost was the gem so valuable,
That you had to hurt someone in order to grasp its coldness.
To the left is man,
Scooping as much water as he can into his parched mouth,
Swimming in the wonder that is water.
Enjoying the earth’s gift to him,
He has won more than any other.
Now tell me, do you dream of gems or water?
By Jennifer Velasquez
Sweat pours down my body in buckets. I can hear my heart beating loudly in my chest. A sea of faces are watching me from outside the ring, but they’re all starting to blend. My lungs are on fire. I think I hear my name being called but it sounds muffled, like it’s coming from miles away. I taste something warm and coppery in my mouth. Everything hurts.
By Shania Kuo
I remember, growing up, that my family always told me I took things for granted. And they were right.
When I was a kid, I always wanted to grow up. Nothing was ever enough for me. Not the toys, not the silly games we played at preschool. I always wanted more and I wasn’t shy about it. I would never be able to list all the times I screamed and cried when things didn’t go my way. The amount of times I said my parents never cared about me because all they did was buy new things for my siblings.
By the time I was a teenager, I was complaining about how much my life sucked. I hated everything about being a grown-up. I didn’t want the responsibility; I didn’t want to think about the future. I was stuck in the past, or the present, and I did a lot of stupid things. I hated being different. The stares that never existed in the first place dug into the back of my head and they made me want to scream and yell at the perpetrators that were never there. Rumors started. Sometimes I started them. Sometimes I believed them. Other times I was the subject of them. I lost friends, but I never made new ones to replace them. I failed tests, but I never thought about asking why I did. I lost at sports a lot, but I never had the dedication anyway. School was just something I did because I had to. That’s all there was to it.