vol. 3, edition: 3 January 2019

Welcome to #BirdvilleVoices Digital Literary Magazine!

This digital literary magazine is a compilation of writings from the budding PAP middle school authors around the district. Please enjoy their insights, humor, and writer's craft.

Big picture

6th Grade

Nephtalie B- Watauga Middle School

“Where I’m From” I am from the hot and wet land,

from the free land.

I am from the warm and welcoming land.

I am from the sand digging in my feet,

sometimes wet, sometimes dry, sometimes soft and smooth.

I am from the music in my blood,

and the beauty marks on my hand.

I’m from the church I love

the one where we go every Sunday

with no absence.

Mes familles d’afrique dans,

la partie du congo.

{ meaning: my family is from Africa, from the land of Congo.}

I’m from a land were we forgive and forget.

(Inspired by George Ella Lyons’s Where I’m From)

Tena L-North Richland Middle School

No Snow

The bright snow falling

is what people think of

but I never see

these icy snowflakes from above.

In pictures the snowmen

are smiling with cheer

but snowmen are just

in my dreams around here.

The yard is covered

with grass that turned brown

but I don’t see any white

falling on the ground.

Maybe one winter

I’m wishing, I hope

for enough snow

to sled down a slippery slope.

But this time

the chances are low

for winter in Texas

brings us no snow.

Grant P- Smithfield Middle School


Fury, he sits there unsatisfied on fire and most of all furious. He lives in all of us controlling thoughts and sometimes other emotions. He is king and for some of us he is fuel to do good and bad. To run faster and be stronger therefore we listen. Should we with fury comes violence and from violence come death. I said fury is king, I was wrong, death is king. It controls all emotions even good ones like joy and happiness. No one knows why. Maybe because he’s a offspring of Fury. I think it's because of frustration after people go through both frustration and Fury it's too late death has struck and the cycle repeats. But, is there a way to stop the cycle if you put joy in the cycle? No, it is not true joy, and there still sad. So there is no end to the cycle.

Alex G- Haltom Middle School

Reading: An Exaggeration Poem

Some books that I grab

Are really bad,

They stink more than the floor at lunch.

But one of them caught my eye

I thought, “this book should never die.”

When I am done with that book,

I need to have more.

It’s like that big score

But worth more than Bill Gates.

When I read,

I think I’ll never sleep,

But then I get tired

Which ends my infinite reading streak.

Katie D- Watauga Middle School


Stubborn is a tame dog still wild with life. She is more hard-headed than a Dragon, but as fragile as glass. Her hair is the color of caramel, and her eyes are a greenish blue. She is skilled in a few things such as Art and Music. Stubborn will hear you, but she will never listen. As stubborn runs she wishes to cry, but will not.She stays strong through thick and thin. Stubborn lives by her own rules. She can be your greatest ally or your worst enemy. She is not a push a push over ,and won't give up without a fight. She refuses to show emotion to those she doesn't trust. Many people can't stand Stubborn's hard-headed nature and treat her differently for it. She is strong willed and isn't afraid to show it. She shows little fear for what people see in her. I know all this because...I am Stubborn.

Ava C- North Richland Middle School

Colors of the Sea

A wave of fear swept over me as I began climbing down the old ladder heading straight down into the deep terrifying sea.

The water sloshed onto my ankles. I was starting to regret my choice to go scuba diving.

Every movement hurt, the water was freezing cold, and no matter how much my body wanted me to go back up, I still continued down.

I had been through training to do this, but the water was warm. It wasn’t as bad, I was just in a 6 foot deep pool listening to the confusing technical words my trainer used.

Once the water was up to my neck, I held my breath even though I knew I didn’t have to with the immensely heavy oxygen tank attached to my back. It took all my might and will to completely submerge my head under.

The first thing I saw was, nothing. Just sand and a few fishes here and there.

I began swimming. My feet felt heavy due to the enormous flippers I had to wear. Eventually I spotted the first piece of live coral. I kept swimming and found dozens of it everywhere.

I soon realized that I had just entered the Great Barrier Reef.

There were hundreds of elegant fish of many exotic colors, corals splotched everywhere in no particular pattern, and tiny crustaceans hiding under the pale sand from the big turtles that eyed me cautiously.

I saw an octopus flail his arms in a majestic sort of dance in order to move, purple anemones were practically everywhere with cute clown fishes moving in and out from them, and tiny sharks trying to stay hidden in order to catch their next meal.

I kept swimming, hoping to find more.


All that was there were dull dead corals that covered the ocean floor and fishes that looked so scared and desperate to find a home. I wanted to lead them to the beauty behind me, but I couldn’t.

I checked my air. “Near empty” I tried to mumble, only to come out sounding like “Nrm me” due to my scuba-mask.

I raced back, trying to conserve the little air I had left.

I got onto the latter and looked back. I didn’t want to leave.

For a moment I stared at the fishes, trying to figure out a way to stay longer.

I started to hear voices from above, which was my cue that I needed to come back up.

I climbed up the latter, and got on the ship.

Some workers helped me out of my equipment, and asked me how my time was.

To that, I just grinned and said, “I know where I’m coming next year!”

But I couldn’t help but wonder how much of it would be gone and dead by next year if no one tried to preserve it.

Brisa P- Haltom Middle School

Scary Movies: An Exaggeration Poem

Scary movies give me such a fright,

With one look my eyeballs pop out of sight!

The music makes it even worse,

Especially at the theater.

The music is so loud, my ears bleed!

The characters are just as bad,

Some make me want to pee my pants

Like Michael Myers with his mask.

The killing scenes always leave my terrified

Where my hairs stand up from the goose bumps

And chills.

Then, I am so happy when the movies end,

I can run like The Flash, like the wind!


Nolan I- Smithfield Middle School

Remember, Honor, Serve

During our flight, my family and I sat glued to the windows trying to find the first sign of humanity after spending hours looking at the slow rolling waves of the ocean. As our plane flew into the runway on Oahu, our oohs-and ahhs quickly dissipated into planning for the next few days on this new land. Little did I know the next day would change my life.

The noise of the bus slowly rattling along awakened me. Since we had landed yesterday, my body hadn’t adjusted to the time change. Even though I was so tired, I was pumped to get to our destination: Pearl Harbor. As we walked in, our guide handed the security guards all of our tickets. As the guard was scanning them, his partner slowly started letting people in the park. After we were all inside the National Park, we went to the USS Pennsylvania's anchor which had been recovered from the ocean floor after the ship was struck by a Japanese bomb during the attack on the Pacific fleet. After the guide had explained the importance of the anchor, he let us roam free. My family decided that it would be best to visit the museums first and then do the tours. As we slowly proceeded through the museums, I wondered how long it took to recover all of the artifacts that had sunk. The amount of restored items was incredible and I was completely astounded by the model ships and how much detail had been put into them. After this, we got on our boat tour and slowly went through the harbor. I looked on solemnly with my hat in my hand as we went by the memorials, as the realization struck me of the utter destruction that bombs could do. Just a few bombs wiped out this community. When the tour ended, we boarded the USS Bowfin, a submarine that was used in that era. As we walked about the boat, I realized how cramped life was for sailors that were stationed on this sub. It couldn’t have been easy to live in such a small space for long periods of time.

As our day concluded, it occured to me that I had just visited a graveyard that held thousands of young men and women in its grasp. This day will forever impact me because I want to go to the United States Air Force Academy and become an aerospace engineer. I saw first-hand that anything can happen in military life and you have to be prepared. I will never forget the day my family and I went to Pearl Harbor and the impact it made on my life.

Achanti H-Watauga Middle School

Unlit Snowflake

The shining bulbs of glitter and galore,
The blinding, brightening lights woven in store,
Frosty flakes gliding onto its core,
But all she could see was a standing tree and nothing more

Ribbons twirling around the prickling pine of green,
twisting all the way up the tree,
The beauty of the pine did not blind her
from the truth that was meant to be

The darkness circling the empty spot of needles,
She noticed the starry snowflake was hidden with the beetles,

A missing member who used to hold her high,
No longer held her to the sky,
her mind numb, head forced to be held high

All she wanted was the magic to come back,
Wanted the star to light up the night sky.

Kaylee E- Haltom Middle School

Meadow Paradise

When I awakened from my

slumber, I arrived in a trance like meadow.

When I realized I was dressed in a

dove white gown with poppies in my

hair with a rain flower necklace around me.

As I ventured on I became feeling

like a porcupine in a floating balloon.

All I had remembered was myself

cruising along a highway going to

the pier. Yet in this meadow nothing

was near.

A meadow. . .a meadow? I repeated to myself.

All of a sudden I felt the comfort from the

ultraviolent above shine on me and the animals.

Times like these I truly feel free.

Then the bees hummed a psychedelic beat.

The creatures in a meadow were

so peaceful as I had not just randomly appeared.

Rabbits scurried around the cotton-candy

looking Queen of the prairie flowers. Their intoxicating aroma

filled my nose. So lovely and sweet, like a glass of sweet tea.

Refreshing and calming while it pours down your throat,

but in the flower case your nose.

Now that I am in the hypnotic peaceful meadow yet,

I still wonder in this land of wonder why I am here.

Velentina C- Watauga Middle School

Stop waiting for someone’s opinion
Stop waiting for someone to tell you that you matter
The longer you wait
the more you will feel down on yourself
Stop waiting for a response because that opinion is not important
The only opinion that matters is your own
Don't let someone’s response tear your world into pieces
You are better than anyone will ever say
You are perfect the way you are
No opinion, response, comment should ever change that.

Bethany C- Smithfield Middle School

“Help!” I called. I was stuck in a bit of a situation. Let’s rewind a little bit to how a girl like me got stuck in a situation like this.

“Hello,” I said. Today was my first day of 7th grade! I was so excited that I was almost jumping with it. And even better, tonight I had a game night event to go to at a escape room! I was trying to get my mom to get out the door because I was so excited to get this day going. “Come on Mom. We’re going to be late if your going at a pace like this!” I pushed. “Finally we’re here. Did you really have to take the long way?” I said. She ignored me said, “I hope your brother is having a great first day of 4th grade.” “Will you be taking me to the escape room tonight?” I asked. “No, Dad will be taking you,” she replied. I got out of the car and went inside the band hall. We all compared our schedules and we all had english first, but only one of my friends had the same teacher as me. She happened to be a member of my church as well. “Are you going to the church escape room tonight?”I asked her. “I don’t know,” she confessed. After that, the school day went by in a blur. As soon as I got home I started getting ready for the youth event. Finally, we were in the car on the way to the escape room.

“We’re here,” I announced. “Looks like we’re all here,” my youth pastor said. We were going to be doing the time machine one. After we figured out the last puzzle,we found a secret the passage, but time had just run out. I crawled through the passage because I didn’t realize that our time was up. Then the passage sealed me into this creepy room. “Help!” I called. “Stay calm,” I told myself. I soon had figured out all the puzzles, and I was released from the room.

Enzo D- North Richland Middle School

Importance of Goals

Motivation, and a plan. These attributes of goal setting are of undoubtful importance. A major help that setting a goal provides you with is giving you motivation. Whenever you set a goal, common human instinct is to strive to complete that goal, because nobody likes to be someone you constantly fails to complete their goals. In the Bible, it says that God told the Israelites they could conquer the promised land. As they took cities along the way they had a goal to take the city of Jericho. With God by their side they used the motivation and marched 7 days around the city making noise. On the seventh day the walls collapsed and they took the city. Motivation can be like the goal taunting and pushing you to complete it, this can help a lot

One more advantage of setting a goal is in a way it gives you a planned way to accomplish it. When trying to do something you need to know what your doing and how your doing it. Once, in fifth grade, we were setting goals and I planned to read a certain amount of books by a certain time. By setting this goal, I realized I would need need to set a pace and therefore, have a plan. Another example of this is the Roman “Testudo” formation. When the Romans set a goal to win a battle, they got a plan and won through using the plan and getting in formations. One extraordinary formation was the “Testudo” formation. This would be when soldiers arranged shields to protect everyone and move forwards under cover to take the battle. Goal setting can provide you with an organized plan to achieve that goal and helps you actually achieved it.

The fact that goal setting provides motivation and a plan is why it is so important to do.

Jacob J- Smithfield Middle School

I am Jacob Joe

I am creative and funny

I wonder if there are other life forms in the cosmos

I hear my family

I see myself

I want Spiderman ps4

I am Jacob Joe

I pretend to be a superhero

I feel joyous

I touch the moon

I worry for my loved ones

I cry for the lost

I am Jacob Joe

I understand people

I say hooray I dream of heroes

I try my best

I hope for tomorrow

I am Jacob Joe

Jimena S- Haltom Middle School

Sea of Tears

Like an eager puppy

I went on begging non-stop.

Wait, they say,

“But I’m ready to play!”

“Fine come then.” They utter

Finally, my heart flutters

“Yay!” I say

I couldn’t wait!

Jump. . .

Jump. . .

Jum. . .!

Rip! I fell all the way down,

Right onto the ground.

A little baby I was,

When I heard that *crack!*

So there I was,

On the grass,

Crying a sea of tears,

And now I needed a cast.


Edgar V- North Richland Middle School

“First They Came”

First they came for the Old people. But I wasn’t affected because I was not old.

Second they came for adults, but not for me because I am not an adult.

But then they came for teens…

I was taken, because I am a teen.

Then they took the kids under 12. I was already taken so I could do nothing.

Then they came for infants.

I could not do anything but sob.

Then there was no one to do anything.

I should have helped earlier so I would not be here.

Jason W- North Oaks Middle School

In The Embers I Was Born

Unlike most people I wasn’t born from woman,

I was born from fire and smoke.

I wasn’t raised to fit in,

I was raised to stand out.

I’m not here to make friends,

I’m here to fight for what’s right.

Most people stare,

But it’s me who stirs the air.

You may think me crazy,

But most would understand if they saw me.

Because as I said I wasn’t born by woman,

I came from a dragon’s lair.

Tan H- North Richland Middle School

Should America Have Been More Involved in the Holocaust?

During the 1940s, America wasn’t in the best of situations. Faced with a decade of economic failure and immigration into the U.S. rising due to refugees, our country tried her best to cope with these changes. But when news of the Holocaust in Germany reached our ears, we did not do very much to help, besides an extremely late WRB (War Refugee Board). I think America could’ve done more during the Holocaust by prioritizing Jews and leading a way for other countries.

When news about the Holocaust reached Americans’ ears, we still did not make saving Jews a big priority. As more Jews began trying to get into the U.S. and other countries, we chalked it up to Hitler’s oppressive rule. It was a problem, but not one that was that important at the moment. But the Holocaust showed us the true extent and brutality of the Nazi Party. Yet, we still did not do much to relieve the Jews of their suffering, not until President Roosevelt was pressured into creating the WRB. But that was after we began fighting the Germans to protect our government. We joined the war not to protect Jews, but to save democracy. But why can’t we do both?

As a leading country in the world with a lot of power, America should’ve paved a path for other countries to follow. The United States was one of the “Big Four” powers of the war. With proper planning and communication, along with refraining from bickering and disagreement, thousands of Jewish lives could have been saved. And yet our lack of effort resulted in deaths of almost 6 million innocent lives. We should have immediately began to act after the monstrosity called Hitler began to come into power. More and earlier rescue missions to liberate Jewish concentration camps could have been the “Aha!” moment for many semitic people to maybe realize what the horrible things that Germany was doing. Then, if news of our rescue missions for Jews reach neutral countries, it could sway them to ally themselves with the Allied Powers to rescue more Jews and stop the oppressive regime of the Nazis. More countries at the time would not only significantly strengthen our forces tenfold, but it would also scare our enemies and give us a better chance to win the war.

Our country’s disappointing and lackluster response to the Holocaust cost many lives. If we put more of an attempt to save Jews by making them a bigger Priority and leading other countries, a lot of Jewish lives could have been saved.

Bay S- Watauga Middle School

In the after…

In the after there was emptiness

But it was an emptier kind of empty

Because there had been something before

There had been a light, a laughter,

A something so beautiful you only have it once

But soon that may be all I know

For the emptiness is eating away at me

My name, my face, my view of everything…


And I’m left with the wonder of when time got so fast

And when the world got so fuzzy

And why I can’t remember anything,

But why the emptiness is so empty.

Angelina S- Haltom Middle School

Superior 7th Grader

It all started two weeks before school officially began. All Haltom Middle School Honors Band students were to go to North Oaks Middle School with all of the other students in the Haltom High cluster to prepare for the start of the next nine weeks. We were all to try out for the All Birdville District Band.

I was in the room and right in front of me were two pieces of oboe music. I immediately thought, “Are you kidding me?” My heart literally felt like it might all of a sudden stop. There were a bunch of notes, symbols, and rhythms that didn’t make sense in my head. So this was it. For the next month and a half I was going to be practicing a piece of music that seemed very near to impossible to learn much less master. Great.

When I got home I stayed on my couch thinking about band. “Do I want to practice my instrument? No I’m fine. Why bother? Later.” That was my mindset until school started.

Once school started, the oboe players had to have sectionals Fridays after school to work on our district music. Mr.Sabesta was of course very helpful and I slowly learned the music. I was actually getting the hang of it.

Now that I could play the music and thought it was good enough, correct rhythms with the right tempo, band directors always made it seem like, “It could be better.” Which is true, but come on! I’m in 7th grade for crying out loud! That’s when they introduced the good old practice records.

It practically ruined my life. Not joking. First of all we had to practice three hours a week to get a 100 for the week. Three hours. I had enough homework with all of my other classes and now I had this to top it all off.

Almost every week I didn’t have time to practice during the week so that meant I had to do it over the weekend. It was absolutely horrible. Practicing over the weekend meant a sore mouth followed by panic and stress. After a long time of playing my mouth would start to hurt so bad it would simply let go of the reed. That meant I’d have to take a break. There went my weekend.

To add to all my hard work and stress, out of about twelve oboe players auditioning for district band, only four would make it. “Nice to know,” I thought. All of this dedication and I might not even make it. Not nerve wracking at all.

Finally the time came where my skills were put to the test. It was my turn and I wasn’t even nervous. Compared to everyone else, I felt like I did excellent, even better than most of them. I was with the tempo on my etudes, had correct articulation and dynamics. Not to mention, my scales sounded even.

The judges told us to leave and that we would get our results later that day. Exiting the room, I had this feeling that just maybe I made district band.

At home I was so anxious to receive the text that would tell me if I had reached my goal. There I was on my parents’ bed when I received the message. Taking in a deep breath, I opened it. I looked at the top four names and there was mine, “Angelina Saavedra, 3rd Chair.” I was so thrilled I screeched and jumped on the bed. Not only did I make district band but I was third chair, and a 7th grader!

It turned out that all that hard work really paid off and I accomplished something amazing. District Band was awesome and I am very grateful for the process that lead to an incredible experience.

Ella P- North Ridge Middle School

Notes from a Hero's Daugher

When your dad is a firefighter

you can't help but worry every time he leaves for work

You can't stop the thoughts that flood into your mind like water flowing from a

waterfall, the fear that always lurks

You stop and think, what if they won't come back and did you say goodbye

What if they are seriously injured and how your family would survive

You know he's witnessed unimaginable things by the stories you overhear, when he

tell my mom late at night I can not help but fear

You know those thoughts linger in his mind, gunshots and fires

Does he get through those over time?

How many people has he lost and how many have survived,

Sleepless nights and constant fire engine rides

If he weren't at the station so much,

he would've seen my school play or even gone to the part with us all day

Or the one that keeps coming back into my mind over and over

"If my dad weren't a firefighter, everything would be fine"

I know these thoughts are selfish and crude,

but when your dad is being a hero

he misses out on moments that are supposed to stay with you

Birthday parties and vacations, award ceremonies, and

first steps, family meals, and holidays, I start to have regrets

Part of your family is gone like a missing piece to a puzzle

Sleeping while he's gone can even be lots of trouble

Being a firefighters daughter is a hard thing to be, why does he have to be their

hero, why can't he just be a daddy to me?

Matthew B- North Richland Middle School

America and the Holocaust

During World War II, Nazi Germany carried out the worst mass-murdering of people in human history. In total, they killed around six-million Jews, only because they were Jewish. Thankfully, they were stopped by the Allies: prominently the USSR, Great Britain, and the USA. These countries played very big roles in putting a stop to the genocide. But what If I told you that one of these countries originally didn’t want to help, and turned a blind eye to these killings? What if I told you that they had let millions of Jews die before finally addressing the problem? What if I told you that this country was the USA: the land of the free? Crazy, right? Many Americans during WWII were very anti semitic. This hatred for Jews was everywhere, even in the government, which played a role in the blindness of the US. America should have stepped in more during the Holocaust because it was the moral thing to do, and because it could’ve saved countless lives in Europe.

America should have stepped in more during the Holocaust because it would’ve been the moral thing to do. When millions of people are suffering every single day, and you don’t feel even the slightest urge to get right up and do something about it, especially when you know what’s happening is wrong, there’s something wrong with you. Even though the Jews getting tortured aren’t Americans, you can have some empathy and at least attempt to get them out of living hell. America should’ve started their humanitarian efforts right when they heard of the terrible atrocities of the Holocaust, regardless of who was affected.

America should’ve stepped in more during the Holocaust because it would’ve saved countless lives in Europe. If America would have pursued Germany earlier, then more people, Jews, Soviets, and civilians alike, would have still been alive; If the Allies had had an earlier and more dedicated attack on the Nazis, I’m pretty sure that they would have collapsed earlier.

America had deep roots of anti semitism that hindered it from helping the Jewish people of

Europe. If America could have done more, more people would have been free of the torture of the Holocaust. America should have stepped in more during the Holocaust because it was the right thing to do, and because it would have saved countless lives (in Europe).

Charles L- North Oaks Middle School


In The Sneetches written by Dr.Seuss there is a hidden message to the reader that as a kid is much too confusing to understand. After looking at an overview of the Holocaust this message becomes very apparent. The type of judgement that went on during the years of WWII is still going on today and it may go on forever, but the important thing is that people are self aware of these terrible acts and learn to correct them. Dr. Seuss was a political cartoonist for years and many of his cartoons were related to WWII and the persecution that the Nazis delivered to many types of people during those times. One of his books, The Sneetches was a message to the people that these terrible acts that were committed at concentration camps and throughout Europe may have been eliminated but the judgement continues on throughout all of humanity. As I learned in the holocaust slideshow and from past knowledge, the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was very persuasive and he practically controlled all of the people without them realizing. As Sylvester McMonkey McBean came to the beach he sold the non-star bellied sneetches nonsense by telling them he could give them a star. He made stacks on stacks of money from the sneetches doing nothing that really helped them until the end when they realized it no longer mattered. I have realized how much this relates to the way Hitler tricked the people of Germany into blaming the Jews for their own failure.

Lily M- Watauga Middle School

Sitting in a wild field of flowers, I push my hair behind my ear and I watch as the sun is setting. Lately, I've been feeling pretty sad and taking a moment for myself has helped me a lot. Stopping to breath and relieve all my stress has made me feel like a 400 pound weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I pop in my earbuds and start to listen to the most calming music I can find. The breeze causes my hair to fall onto my shoulders as it curls. I sit against the old tree. Being angry isn't such a good feeling. I wish that mom hadn't left me. I start to hyperventilate in pure pain until I realize why I'm here. These flowers were everything to me. They were my decorations for my 6th birthday party that she didn't even show up to. As a matter of fact, no one did. So I sat in this field and I cried. I remember waiting for somebody, anybody to show up.. but nobody did. So I sat in the flowers to calm myself down. These flowers were what I brought to my first date, but he didn't even show up because he was with some other girl. I remember waiting and waiting. I was 13 years old at the time. I had been preparing for weeks. I had talked to my dog about it so many times. I was so nervous. The petals had started to fall off the flowers, and I just let them. My tears fell with them as I started to run home. I ran and ran and I didn't stop until I reached the flower field and I sat down and buried my face in my hands and I sat there crying until my eyes burned. Mom didn't even come outside even though I know for a FACT she saw me. Red faced, alone and with a handful of wilted flowers. These red flowers were what I used to marry my Barbie dolls at age 4. I threw the petals on the floor and had used napkins as the background. I was marrying the one I called Teresa to my Ken doll that I referred to as “Jeremy.” They were having an amazing time together. I was playing music on my pink radio. That's when my mom came in, drunk. She kicked over my Barbie house and threw me into the wall for making a mess. And then.. she left me there. She didn't stop to make sure there was no damage. She stood there, laughing. I remember crying and then running away into the field. I fell asleep with a tear stained Barbie in one hand and woke up with nothing but a feeling of terror. I didn't know what else she could have done to me. The sad thing is that it hadn't been the first time. I sat in the flowers and collected myself. I picked up my Barbie and slowly walked home. The door had been locked, so I climbed through the window. She wasn't home. I waited for a while for her to make her terrifying entrance. She would bust down the door again and leave a huge hole in the wall. She would throw her empty beer bottle at me and wait for me to pick it up as she laughed at my bleeding. She called me “nothing.” “Useless.” “Spoiled.” “Worthless.” Those words feel like fire in my mouth. I sputter out flames as I repeat the things she said to me. And now.. age 16.. she left me. She left me alone to take care of the house. Take care of the dogs. Feed and clean myself. Pay the bills. Get a car and a job. God knows when she's coming back. If, she does come back. And the scary thing is that she could come back at any time. But if she does, I'll sit here. The flower field.

Kayleemarie B- Smithfield Middle School

The Effect of Death

She started coming over exactly a week after her mother died. Of course, she had come over before then, but only after school if her parents weren't home. Not like this. Not every day before and after school, leaving only to sleep and say hello to her father, and sometimes not even that. Sometimes she would spend the night in our guest room downstairs, and soon she started bringing her clothes and furniture over from her house. I know it was at my parents’ request, because she spent more time at our house than at her own, even though her house was down the street and she owned her own car. But it felt like she was moving in. It was weird to see my sister's best friend hauling her dresser through the front door and into the open bedroom on the right.

Though I've never been one to like change. I guess I should be used to it by now, with everything that’s happened. And I really should be if I'm to live past my teenage years.

I don't know why she suddenly started coming over this frequently. She said it was because we have more available ingredients, and a double wall oven to help bake her famous triple-chip cookies faster, but anyone could see that something was off.

Ever since her mother's death she was different. Still happy, but now calmer, quieter, and she wouldn't mention anything about her family or home life to anyone. Obviously her mother's death rattled her, but she was never the person to sit down and dwell on the past. She always kept moving forward, chasing the future. For goodness sakes, she broke the record of youngest entrepreneur, youngest entrepreneur in the baking industry, and youngest entrepreneur to found a non-profit charity. You’d think her mother’s death would fuel her and motivate her, but it didn't. She instead shut down, closed herself off from the world, even turned down two live interviews. So sometimes, I’ll look at her while she’s baking, and instead of merrily singing off-key to High School Musical, she’d be solemnly quiet.

I guess death changes people.

Corey C- North Richland Middle School

First They Came For My Family…

First they came for my family...and

I didn’t do anything to stop them

Because I knew that they would know

Then they came for all that I’ve ever loved

And I didn’t do anything to stop them

Then all was lost for there was nobody left to care.

Sean R- North Ridge Middle School

The Weather of Life

At first I thought I was no one,

Just a little speck on Earth,

But I found some friends,

Who would travel to the ends,

With me right by their side,

Through the years,

We had our cheers,

And always came through the storm,

We had many travels,

And also many baffles,

As life went on though not norm,

We will grow up,

And find our own ways,

Get our new cars, new jobs, new days,

We’ll have families,

Taken with good care,

They’ll soon have stories,

For them to share,

All in all we’ll stay together,

Until we can’t take, any more weather.

Juliette D- Smithfield Middle School


In a garden full of roses, tiger-lilies, tulips, any flower you can imagine, she’d still be the only thing to truly catch your eye. I can assure you, she is one of a kind.

She has subtle habits that put a little bit of personality into everything she does, and an unwavering kindness she’ll show to anyone. It’s all so unique to her and her mannerisms. You could see her for the first time, and she’d already have your heart.

Anyone could rave on and on for days about her, but you could never put every aspect of her into words. You could try, but you could never explain her to someone without diluting her pure essence. She’s a wonder, and to truly comprehend her full beauty you have to meet her.

Being in the same room as her is enough to lift your spirits higher than the heavens and make you smile from ear to ear. Just looking at her can make your heart flutter a million times, and when she speaks with that silky and sweet voice of hers, you never want her to stop. It’s like being approached by everything that is good in the world.

In a garden full of flowers, all lively and well, vibrant and different, she is the only flower for me. She makes my heart swell.