Inside-outside Poem


Way deep down inside, a

Treacherous tornado swirls with anger.

Once the storm calms, it rains and takes away anger,

And covers it up with sorrow.

After the pain settles, comes

Out a bright sun,

Rays shine out,

That gush out of me.

But I question when the next tornado will come out again.

But, on the outside I bottle up all my fear and sorrow,

And come out into the courageous and face the world.

I come in the world,

And banish my feelings.

You think I am innocent

It can change.

By Katie, age 13


I Am From 


I am from a culture whose flag colors

Are flowing with pride

From a country where no one is safe

From poverty

I am from a city where the drop-out

Rates are higher than the graduation rates

From a city where all the boys are fighting

Over a street number

Where the girls are fighting over the guys

Who cheated on them

I am from Kansas City where no one thinks we,

As a generation, are no good

I am from a family where my sisters taught me

how to stand up for what’s right

From a family that taught me never to give up

I am from a family where water

Is thicker than blood

A family where we fall apart because

Of fight after fight

I am from a line of strong-willed women who,

Despite all the statistics, will

Succeed in life

And defend my country

Pride and all.

By Joanna, age 17




My sister is a butterfly

sitting on a stick.

Even though we fight a lot,

I still love her.

I feel like telling her,

but I don’t have the courage

to say it.

I imagine her as a cute,

red and yellow humming bird.

I love her happy spirit.

I picture fish admiring her beauty

and swimming to the shore

just to see her giant smile.

I know I will grow the courage

to tell her,

but for now

I’m sharing with the world.

By Raymundo, age 12



I Am From 


I am from the un-giving promises

Spoken from the lies of truth

From the depths of joy

Found through a smile

From the illiteracy of intelligence not yet used

I am from a mother not yet a mom

Struggling to grow up

I am from a person hidden

The twin side of the penny

From the flow of a pen to paper

Expressing what my words cannot say

My words can express

Through the reflection of

What you see and not what you know

I am from a different shade of brown not yet black

The art of blood on the streets

Lost innocence no worlds to speak

From the shot of a gun to the home of a bullet

From a lost child, no act in it

I am from the trials with no judge, no rules, no life

From the story of fairy tales and the good life believed

Only to be reality of uncertain dreams

Make believe, taken from me, like the childhood never seen

I am from the quiet words that will only get louder

Louder, prouder, time is up, fly up

I am just a memory soon to fade

By Sicily, 17


I Am From 


I am from my mother’s womb

From tears of joy and loneliness

Of desperation and moving forward

Love and affection were my surroundings

A mother’s fear causing to not

Let her baby fly

Away from the nest

A tradition that you put family

Before yourself

Something that will be

Broken in August

The bird will fly

But never forget the warmth

Of the mother’s womb.

By Tania, 17