“Counting Trains” by 1503

You work all the time.
You always did.

We used to sit on the
porch and make a game of the waiting.
If you don’t laugh, you’d cry they say.
We’d count the trains rolling by on the track. 50, 100, 250, 397. Home. Your
car on the other side.

You worked. You worked
all the time.
I know it was for us. For our sake, for our stability and future.
I believe you did what you thought was best.
But you didn’t realize I just
wanted you. I wanted you
there to see me, to hear me, just to know me.

Instead, you were in your
office. Working. Working. Working.

“Silent Love” by 1502

We all have our ways of showing love.

My dad does so in the quiet corners of life: hardly noticed,
unassuming,
unheard.

Finding my gas tank to be full as I glance at the dash on my way to work.

Finding one hundred extra dollars in my bank account after eating PB&J, three meals a day, for four days straight.

Finding a national finalist T-shirt in my backpack after being announced as such on a beach in Daytona.

I so often meet people that give love for the “Thank you.”

But my dad doesn’t wait around for acknowledgement, and he won’t accept money for fixing neighbors’ cars: hands greasy, sweat sliding down his face,
he happily accepts a case of Coors,

nothing more,
and expects even less than that.

Hardly noticed,
unassuming,
unheard
love is the most selfless kind.

“Thank God” by 1501

I wanna tell you the horrible thing I went through When I was 9 something bad happened
We got the call
my sister was gone
my heart beating fast
I was thinking about all the wrong things

That could happen to her
Driving to the hospital, all I could see was black and white bring her back to life was like a million smiles

but hearing her scream was like chills to my bones

walking in the room seeing her hooked up to the machine

TRIUMPH: Stay on Earth made me not even wanna see any more

1501

Mixed Media

All I could hear my mom sayin9g,in x 12 “My baby, my baby,
wake up.”

I was trying to block all the negative out
but I could overhear the doctor saying she’s making a full recovery she’s going to be alright
they told us to go home and let her rest

All that night I could not stop thinking about her
tossing and turning all through the night
I have never thought in a million years my sister would be shot

Bringing my sister home was the happiest thing in life but it also was the worst
she changed

It was like she did not like any of us
every day she was yelling and screaming
nothing was never perfect for her
but I had to remember she went through something

A year went by
I started to see her change more
she was scared to go outside
or even to talk to her friends
even talk to my mom about the things that were hurting her and my mom was one of her close friends

Another year went by.
She start being active
like sitting on the porch
she even started talking to her friends she went back to school

That’s when I started to seeing her as my role model getting shot, coming back to life.
And still graduating from school,
going to college,

getting a job at the post office. she did not let the bullet stop her at what she had accomplished

That’s why I look up to her and I thank God that He never took her.

COLLABORATIVE POEM BY STUDENT VOLUNTEERS IN THE AWARD-WINNING “OPEN SKIES” AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM

Quiet or loud, I don’t care. It was still a nice day.
I feel the cool breeze on my skin.
This sounds like a place I would wish to call home.

Anything I can decorate, I will.
I hear birds chirping;
The quiet is unsettling sometimes.

An empty water bottle falls over in the wind. I thought this was going to be boring,
But it was actually kind of fun

An empty water bottle falls over in the wind. Sounds open and free to expand and dance Until they get lost in the distance.

This sounds like a place I would wish to call home. I love peace and happiness.
Quiet or loud, I don’t care. It was still a nice day.

It’s about getting outside,
Getting outside of oneself, Getting outside of routines,
And the comforts of a typical day, A typical lesson, a typical life.

The sound of pencils scrolling across the page…
This sounds like a place I would wish to call home.
Hearing the trees rustling and the clipping of bushes,
Jim Seidler insists, “Got a minute and a half yet, I hear talking,”
And I love how he says it without disdain, without disrespect,
With a matter-of-factness that says, “Here I have expectations of you, Let’s get it done.”

And that’s a sound I’m trying to imitate
I wonder what it will sound like at the end of the day.

“Forgotten” by 1501

I’m so lost without you
I’m so far gone, I’ve forgotten about you
I don’t know what went through your head

I love my father
I hate him
Is there love there? Maybe. Does he love me?
Why abandon me?

I remember one time sitting in my Room, and you came up in my room telling me I was your everything. Then one day you were gone

I do believe
I believe in love
But I no longer have trust

He left me
He hurt me
Why leave me?
When did you leave me? Whyyy?

I hate waking up in the morning not seeing my father

I never had that father where he could teach me how to ride a bike

Times when we had family trips, like going
to Hershey Park, and seeing everybody with their fathers was hurtful

I do know you’re there, and can’t be found

My dad is like a child lost in the store and always can’t be found

But I don’t remember much about you But how can I forget about you?
Just with a blink you were gone.

WRITE FOR LIFE.