My Outspoken Mother

By: Chloe Basch

My Outspoken Mother


She gave me fear.

She gave me hate.

She eyed me with disgust.

She gave me strength.


The fire escaped her lungs

And the flood absconded with her brain.

She resides

Withered away,

A novel amongst stories.

She fell off the shelf,

She snapped.

The ink that was once forced onto the paper,

That yearned to paint the world a different color;

Instead her words painted the limited pages.


Her spine shatters

Her pages wrinkle.

Her cover fractures,

And her story is forgotten.



Her story told the truth

And that is why she died.

We cannot know the truth,

For then the world would not be poverty stricken.

The world would not be




If there were more stories like her.


They did it

They ripped her pages

Burnt her cover.

They silenced what couldn’t be heard.

They killed the spark of fire left

Because that spark caused a conflagration.


The fire consumed libraries

Because they told lies.

It spread to schools

And buried the ashes.

Because they told lies.

She didn’t fall.

She didn’t burn.

Her story wasn’t forgotten.


Forgotten like mine

Like my father’s

Like my sister’s.


Her infamous truth did not overpower the lies that are enforced.

It did not flood every library

Every school;

But it killed everything that made me fit in.

Everything that made me the same


Chloe Basch,11, NY,NY USA


The Red and White Campbell's Beef Noodle Soup Can

By: Andrew Li

The red and white Campbell’s Beef Noodle Soup can,

created by heavy, hurting, hands, in a faded factory,

sits, idly.


It has the same mellow, metallic, touch as others of its kind.

It has the same lackluster label as others of its kind.


It has the




as others of its kind.


The price, nineteen cents, is printed boldly on the lid,

and the can is shipped off to a shop in Manhattan,

where a man comes everyday to buy it.

The man, Andy is his name,

whips out two dimes, grabs the can,

and tells the storekeeper to keep the change.


He returns to his easel in his studio

and opens the can

and takes in the boring bland aroma of the soup

and he consumes it like his mouth is a black hole

devouring the universe of beef, noodles, and soggy soup.


Yet it doesn’t deter him from buying another,

and another,

until twenty years have gone by.


Andrew Li, 18, Singapore






Highway Lullaby

By: Hunter Towne


Silence makes a sound
don’t you think?
Sometimes I can’t sleep
because the silence is so loud.

There is something about the nothing,
the absolute emptiness of a place
like walking through a forest on a snowy night.

Silence scares me.

I grew up in town
close to the highway
and the constant hum of tires on tar
has sung me to sleep the past 15 years.

Sometimes we go to a farm
in New Hampshire.
It’s beautiful
and I treasure my time there.
But I have a hard time sleeping.

It is just
yet, so

Silence has a sound
don’t you think?

Hunter Towne is 15 years old; she lives in Freeport, Maine.

of arc

By: Lara Katz

that man
he was a woman, with
cropped hair and cobwebbed

that illiterate woman
she fought a court to
remain single

she in drag brought men to
war horse to water they
drank they drank deep

that girl
won a war dressed in
white that peasant
commanded a dauphin

and he obeyed
like a dog that virgin
at nineteen she became ash
before her own funeral

that life
that swift.

Lara Katz is 16; she lives in Weston, Connecticut

The Wisest

By: Daniel Boyko

Upon receiving the reality beyond the most intelligent parts of my brain,
I discover the truth.
She’s by far the smartest of them all,
able to give advice on just about everything
in a language that isn’t her natural tongue.

The hard-core sciences, the puzzling history,
and sophisticated opinions on philosophy
are all answered with brilliance.
Yet, she’s never been formally taught any of it.

Sure, her mathematical computing skills aren’t on par with Caltech’s finest,
but she stopped attending school by third grade.
If only she had the opportunities that the wealthy American receives,
she would be hailed by all and would be placed on the same pedestal as Einstein himself.

There would be an element named after her,
a city, a town, an avenue, and an airport would be named the same as well,
and she would have invented some bewildering creation
that would forever revolutionize life as we know it.

The future would come fifty years earlier,
and cancer may be a thing of a past.
Sure, it could be that wisdom comes with age,
but if that were the case, a certain someone would be a little brighter.
Maybe, the whole world has just gotten education wrong.

Daniel Boyko is 14 years old and lives in Short Hills, New Jersey, USA


By: Kiana Mpala

Clouds are big fluffy things they are.
As big as a house, as big as a car,
then you think how far do they go?
Far up into the clouds where nobody knows...

Different shapes and sizes are they,
moving fast to places far away.
Clouds are magical and the most magic of all,
they might give rainy days and sad ones too.

But best of all is they love us, they do!

Kiana Mpala is 10 years old and lives in Chatam, England. 


By: Isabella Popa

Brown paint
flicking off
god’s paintbrush,
onto your

Raw honey
thick with emotion
escapes from
your eyes
and drips
down your face.

Lips gently
coated in sugar,
so sweet
that I would
gladly eat up
every word.

You can’t be real.
Maybe I should
touch you,
just to
be sure.

Isabella Popa is 13 and lives in San Jose, California

Heart of Light

By: Narlyn Rodriguez

I have the heart of light
No matter what you say or do
Will you stop my light from shining

No I’m not dying
Yes I’m trying
Don’t tell me I’m not enough
When you don’t know my stuff

But isn’t it lovely
Tearing me down
Make me look like a clown

Well I have news for you
I’m having fun too
Seeing you mock me
Tryna stop me

Where are you now
You’re the one with the frown

So I got that heart of light
Like an airplane
I’ll take flight

I'm too high in the sky
To listen to your lies

So treat me with respect
Or don’t
Let's see who it’ll affect

Oh honey
You can’t stop me
I got that heart of light
And it’s a real sight

Narlyn Rodriguez is 15 and lives Pomona, California 


By: Julia Riesman
Something, even in daylight, always hides
under three shifting cups face-down, there we
can’t know, in the dark, what is falsified.
With blood-red cow carcass, each shelf is lined
in this grocery aisle mortuary—
something, even in daylight, always hides.
A light bulb bursts on a carnival ride,
same fate as my left eye capillary;
can’t know, in the dark, what is falsified.
In the shadow cast by his tune, the pied
piper hinted at coal mine canary.
Something, even in daylight, always hides.
How was she to know, now a draped deer hide,
that hunting season's not January:
can’t know, in the dark, what is falsified.
Apricot pits, within, house cyanide
in the jars of an apothecary;
Something, even in daylight, always hides—
can’t know, in the dark, what is falsified.
Julia Riesman is 16 and lives in Brookline, Massachussetts. 

The Old Dog

By: Abby Bartlett

The old dog lying in the sun
lounges there every day.
He casts his shadow across the lawn,
and watches younger puppies play.

He sniffles at the lily flowers
that line his sleepy path.
He sits there,
still as a rock,
and takes in the world—

Until his owner comes to play,
the old dog lounges in the sun

Abby Bartlett is 11;  she lives in Freeport, Maine