Why the Flowers Grow

My grandmother used to

wipe the tears off my cheek,

her smile full of all the kindness,

I now wish I could hold.

She had her own brand of love,

telling me:

Yesterday we were imperfect,

so today we start again,

and tomorrow we will be better.

My hope is that if we are flawed yet,

the flowers will still grow.

My grandfather would promise me:

the will of God will never lead you

where the grace of God cannot keep you.

The flowers will still grow.

If you’ve ever been in so much pain

that its tentacles wrap around you,

until they’ve stolen your breath,

and looked in the mirror to find

absolutely nothing wrong at all,

I’m quite sure that you will know

somehow the flowers still grow.

My mother explained to me:

The world is running low on love

because people have forgotten

how to respect themselves,

so it is our spiritual obligation

as warriors and as women

to protect and uplift one another.

This is why we’re drowning ourselves

in self-help that all say the exact same thing:

Providing the same hollow advice.

We’re drowning faster than ever before,

But somehow we’re still flying while

the flowers grow without care.


Brianna R Duffin was a senior at Haverford High School when she submitted this poem. She now studies English at Rosemont College with the hope of earning an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in Publishing. She publishes her work on Medium @briannarduffin.

 

 

The Nature of Brokenness

He said my brokenness was beautiful.

And silly me! I must have liked that

because I allowed my butterflies to

dance in their grave so much that

finally they rose like a tornado and

went insane. Poor things, they’re just like me.

He told me also, on a day made of snow

while his whistle drowned out the wind,

that he really did think I was a clever one,

but of course he couldn’t say so to my face.

What he did tell me over and over like it was

the song in some sick music box that he adored

watching me spin to: my brokenness was beautiful.

He insisted it was refreshing to find the one girl

out of hundreds who was honest and real with him.

I should’ve known right there and right then that

when he cradled my brokenness with fingers like daggers,

it was because he intended to cherish it forever.

Because he was so enraptured by the ashes

weeping where they lay on broken glass that he failed

to understand my heart is a phoenix, forever reassembling

the pieces, one spark, one sparkler at a time, rising again,

flying again, singing again, shining again, yes, I should have

known his eyes beheld no greatness when he held his stare

at the dagger embedded in my chest to stop the heartbeat.

I should have reached out- like his hands grabbing my skin

and ripping it off my body in the dead cold of the night-

and traced a line, connected those dots. I should have seen it,

should have known. Maybe I have no one to blame but myself.

Even now I must admit I do not know if deep down

he was in love with the china doll or simply addicted to breaking it.

Lucky for me, I tolerate neither, so I’ll tell you one more time,

no sir, you will not find the stale vestiges of bitterness you search for

inside of me for, yes sir, for your information, I have purged them already.

I forced them from the nest they’d made in my gut and I ripped them

through the fabric of time and spice rushing inside me like wind through the trees

and I pulled them out through my throat. Silky spiderwebs tearing away

the ugly midnight memories as they went, I expelled them from my being

and I erased the girl with the life that they knew. Good riddance.

What you don’t understand is that my body was built for better things

than that, better things than you, even bigger and better

than the Broken Girl you thought you could make your own.

Yes, you heard me right but you weren’t listening, were you?

So I’ll say it again, take one more look if you dare at the body you laid waste to

and scorched like dry earth under the cruel summer sun

and know that it was made for better things.

 Like my mothers before me, I was designed to grow and bloom

even if time and time again I find myself the only rose in the desert.

I’ve come to realize: not every rose comes with a thorn.


Brianna R Duffin was a senior at Haverford High School when she submitted this poem. She now studies English at Rosemont College with the hope of earning an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in Publishing. She publishes her work on Medium @briannarduffin.

 

Capture

Collecting seashells

Overrun by the water

The waves pull me in

 

Going to the beach

Saltwater in my mouth, yuck

The weather is cold

 

Sand in my swimsuit

My brother hates the water

Playing in the sand

 

 

The Torture of the American Dream

Far away in the United States,

Working to save her children from their dangerous lives,

She feels the distance.

She misses her family.

She could not stand another Christmas or birthday apart.

She dries her tears.

She refuses to subject her children to the perilous journey.

Robbed by her smuggler,

Left without food for three days,

She was lucky.

Thousands of other mothers travel a more dangerous way.

On top of Mexico’s freight trains,

They call it “The Train of Death.”


Gregory Datto is a high school senior at The Tatnall School in Wilmington, DE. He lives in Glen Mills, PA. He is an avid swimmer and cyclist and aspires to study Biomedical Engineering next fall.

 

 

 

My Crazy Family 

Home is a place where kids can be safe
They can have fun on birthdays and eat a lot of cake
Home is where I chill  I don’t gotta worry about paying no bills,
I’m picking up on things that my two sibling normally do at home
I’ve noticed my baby sister is always eating my phone
My baby sister has her teeth, and eats like a beast
She is finally a big girl
she is doing some twists and a couple twirls
My mom she is a beautiful independent woman
She is doing real good in this hood.  My mom treats me better
than any other woman could
My little brother is annoying
he is always asking me for stuff
he’s kinda boring.

That’s everything about my family I hope you enjoyed
thank you very much for listening.


Eriyanah is 12 and in the 7th grade. She attends the Morton McMichael School.

 

We Are All Equal

We are equal, we are family

Let’s stand together and face the cold world it truly is.

 

We are in a bad situation: 

Jail, slavery, and death.No one deserves to serve a master 

No one deserves to be a slave 

No one deserves to be killed 

No one deserves to be bought or owned. 

 

Instead of looting, killing, and rioting… 

let’s heal, nourish, and care for each other in these difficult times. 

There are many problem makers and problem solvers in the world. 

Let’s stop the problem makers that are killing minorities 

and become problem solvers.

There was and still is violence.

Let’s unify and keep the world organized. Let’s not make and live in pain. 

We must become peace, not violence.

 

Our problem is racial discrimination. 

Stop killing people and be peaceful.

Let’s be equal. 

No one should be killed because of the color of their skin 

whether it’s chocolate, white, lite, or candy.

 

WE ARE EQUAL. No discrimination shall be allowed anymore! WE ARE EQUAL. No discrimination shall be allowed anymore!

 

 

Community Poem

My home

My school

My own little world

 

The sky

Big trees

Stone houses

 

The world stretches further 

But I love my bubble

And my love 

Stretches farther further

Than words

 

Animals, plants

They are safe 

They are calm

They are beautiful

 

My mind can save the violence

My mind can save the world

Education, bravery, knowledge

Art, logic, creativity

Justice

 

Beauty

Sparkling hearts of sandstone and ruby

Emerald and gold

 

Light dancing across emotion

Changing the way we view life

The way we view the world 

 

The world might stretch

Until the small bubble bursts

But even in silence

There is still the music

Of love

 

Communities

Laughing and talking

Immersing ourselves into each other

Naturally echoing

Echoing, Echoing

I am never part

Of any community

Unless….

 

Someday,

we will all agree

That  we’re together

We will all agree

Someday

 

I want to be a better listener

I want to be a better friend

I want to change the world

And make a print of my hand 

In blood-red ink

On the world

 

I want to change communities for the better

I want to make them beautiful

 

My bubble expands 

The tips of my fingers

Graze the surface

Of nowhere

 

Life is breathed 

Through all sides

 

Love

Love

Love

 

A trusting home

Uniquely beautiful 

Depending on the little lights

Shining

Sparkling Dancing

Within

 

Ocean

The ocean is blue,

It tastes like salt,

It sounds like the waves,

It smells like marine life,

It looks like the rippling surface,

It makes me feel happy.

 

Dressed Up

Dressed up with a bow

Dancing, singing as I go

To go see JoJo

 

 

Philly Poem

Walk down the busy streets of Philly 

To the library a few blocks away 

Get at least five books per week

At the playground I 

read while Elio played.

 

Pass, kick, shoot, Score! 

Playing soccer at Capitolo

Few things I love more

 

Hungry! Me and Elio say

Surprise! Going to P’unk Burger

Hooray! Hooray!  

 

The delicious cheesy burger

A gluten free bun

Fries covered in Vinegar

Oh foodie fun 

 

And my house, oh how I love my house

My awesome bedroom with biggest bed

Basement playroom, messy as ever

TV ready for Friday movie night

 

In June on a special day

Go to the Pride Parade

Been Out and Proud 

Since 3rd grade

 

Bright Rainbows make me feel Glad 

that I am safe and supported here 

 

I love Philly, 

Silly

City of

Gritty