Below is a magnificent piece from Stella Sokolowski, a Junior at Charlottesville High School. Thank you Stella for your thought-provoking work!
Some bears out on the street,
they like to steal my poetry;
they like to sit out on a city line,
take a few of my thoughts- and dine.
When they eat they tear away at my soul
and then, you see, it’s not quite whole.
So I wrap up a few worries in rhymes,
and rhythms somewhat out of time,
and stuff it in my heart for dimes.
A big bear came up one day,
and went and stole my heart away.
When I glanced into his sullen face,
his grey whiskers left a great dark trace,
of small meats and petty eats
-that pulled back skin like dirty sheets.
He whispered pleas into my ear,
but he knew I couldn’t hear.
So from the creases in his fur he cried,
and spit some blood right in my eye.
He caught me in my little lie.
Then other bears- they take on different shapes
and lumber about in different scapes.
They eat away throughout my mind
like fruit flies veiled in humankind.
Some look like broken, vilified lives;
some look like shelled women- some beaten wives.
Some look like herds of lifeless bodies,
or deathless snobs with lifeless hobbies,
and for my words these parasites lobby.
Some bears, they’re still out on the street.
You know, they are my poetry.
They went and told me so this time,
and drew up these words- for a dime.
They ate away my figurative flies,
and fleshed out all my parasite lies.
Then they stood around their plates and said:
“The words all die when we are dead.
We are the thoughts inside your head,
and this is the story that never ends.”
I took a breath of hypocrisy
When one stood up and said to me:
“You pick our troubles off the street
– string them to your internal beat.
Our hungry bellies feed your rhymes,
and throw at you a couple dimes.
And you may think that we just ate,
but we can only eat what you regurgitate.”
And then (for all the poets in the room)
“We are the poems- we write you.”
*Photograph: Isabel Scholz