Nadja, Tell Me About the Tooth Fairy

By: Nadja Goldberg

Vermillion lips delicately poised with peace
Gleaming green eyes to see through the night
A rosy draped gown made purely of fleece
Well before dawn, she takes off in flight.

Without wings she glides through air
Below a rounded moon and speckled stars;
Behind her drifts long locks of hair
Fiery red like the planet of Mars.

About the size of a sponge
She visits each house on her list
Through the mail-slot she does plunge
Sheltered from chilly night mist.

Flying down the hall or up the stairs
And through the door to the child’s room
Careful not to tug any hairs
As under the pillow she does zoom.

Searching for that jagged tooth
Replacing it with a special gift
To sustain the children through years of youth
As soon as they grip the pillow and lift.



Nadja is a 14-year-old from California.

Just Under the Surface

By: Mary McGaffigan

Just Under The Surface

Worn white sneakers
Traverse across dry oak.
The sun’s rays strike my back,
The sky fills with smoke.

Tenacious skin covered with sunscreen,
I gaze around at the flat.
I feel the sweat on my neck,
And adjust my pink hat.

As we hike through the terrain,
I notice bones very near;
A decayed bison with horns,
Collapsed in its bronze gear.

Arid grass blankets the field,
Amidst multiple holes
Brimming with water,
Boiling hot in their bowls.

Some are crystal clear,
While others nebulous and brown.
Geysers burst into the sky,
And then plunge back down.

I draw close to the pools,
Which reek of rotten eggs.
The steam fogs up my glasses,
The hair prickles on my legs.

Rock mountains tower above me,
Dripping down like melted wax.
Their torrid basins overflow,
And water cascades through the cracks.

After hours of aching feet,
We arrive at the end of the trail.
The light brawls with the oncoming darkness,
But is unable to prevail.

Dawn transfigures into dusk,
The sun descends behind trees.
Dark clouds charge across the sky,
And I know it is time to leave.


Mary is a 16-year-old from Massachusetts.

Leftover Snack

By: J. L Von Ende

Leftover Snack

I know
At least
4 things about pigeons.

I know
That the one who sits in the flower boxes
Off Michelle street
Is named Fernando,
And prefers toast crusts to bagel crumbs
(Unless it’s raining out).

I know
That the cluster around my bus stop
Has a book club every Tuesday.
They munch ground coffee and read lines of Frankenstein
Until they must catch the train home.

I know
That the one who pecked at my foot Sunday morning
Was asking me to share my blueberry muffin.
I wasn’t going to finish it anyway.

I know
That there are a million people in this city,
And I am one of the masses,
On the train, on the bus, in the traffic.

I know
I prefer to share my company
With some charcoal doves
And a packet of French fries.



J. L Von Ende is a 17-year-old from Virginia.

The Rain

By: Alex LeGrys

The Rain

I think you’re
related to the
rain, or at least
its best friend,
or maybe
even the missing
half of it--
because God
knows everything’s
so damn incomplete

you see, the
rain splatters
on sidewalks
and patters on windows,
metal surfaces,
similar to your voice--
gently resounding
and sometimes it’s a little
cold, but neither of you
can help that,
it’s just the
way things are.

you tease like
the rain, it seems
you might come--
the clouds crowd
together excitedly
and there’s that
small rush of hope,
but it’s just another
false alarm

then the rain can clean
things a little, freshen them--
soiled hands or tear-stained
faces are washed up
a bit--
you do that too

and when
you both part
one feels chilly,
somewhat tired,
and all in a soft sort
of way--
the two
of you leave that
same worn-out aftertaste
as if it’s all settled,
and though
the remnant raindrops
quickly evaporate,
for those twenty minutes
it’s still all right.

the duo is so
even when storming--
neither will look
all bad, at
least not to me

and of course the
pair of you
fit grandly with
flowers and old
industrial towns--
abandoned factories
and old pastel doors
become even better, as such
dilapidation has a
charm like no other.

I would gladly
have you both
even if
some say
it’s more trouble
than it’s worth

neither of you should
ever be taken for
it’s best if a fragment is
measured in a
rain gage to acknowledge
what was there
for otherwise
it’ll merely
be a washed-up blur

but, what’s different
is you’ll never flood,
never grow in excess,
at least I don’t think
you’d ever cause
such destruction...

so perhaps you’re
the rain’s younger sibling--
not in the inferior
sense, you have just
as many forms,
yet more tender,
equally complex,
and obviously
open to misinterpretation
by anyone--
and I’m no

this makes you two
frightening, as I can’t
help but fear that
some brisk storm--
large or small,
will someday
be on my account.



Alex LeGrys is a 16-year-old from Vermont.


By: Dia Fatima



Dandelions white and dandelions yellow

Dandelions enough to surprise a fellow

Over the fields and under the sky

As the wind blows, the dandelions fly

Dia is a six year old student at Trivandrum International School. She lives in the city of Trivandrum in India.  

Nocturnal Poet

By: Gracie Foster

one morning, the poet stared out into the sun and said:

wretched ball of
wake me no more.
wretched ball of
yellow and red
blind me no more

why must I sleep during the day?
what is the point?
who thought of that?
from here on, I will not sleep under the moon.
but under the sun

later, at dawn, a child knocks on the poets door,
and the child says:

Why do you sleep in the day?
Most of us sleep in the night.
Night's when the sun goes away
and the moon becomes our light.

and the poet replies:

why might you sleep at night?

and the child thinks a moment:

It is what my mother does.
And it's what her mother did.
It is what my father does.
And it's what his father did.

and the poet retorts:

my answer is as simple as yours;
I sleep under the sun
just because I can.

and the child says:

I believe I am confused.

and the poet says:

do not be
have you ever thought of doing for the sake of
have you ever thought of being for the sake of
have you ever thought of loving for the sake of
ever thought of laughing
because you can?
as humans:
we can love
and have dreams
and have goals
and feel happy
and sad
and angry
and have friends
and write poems
and the poems don't have to have meaning,
or structure,
or rhythm,
or anything!
you can write a poem
just for the sake of writing a-

the child interjects:

I think you must go to sleep,
you must do it very soon.
this sun won't always keep,
and you may have to sleep underneath the moon.


Gracie is a 16 year old from Oneida, Tennessee.

Ana and I

By: Jennifer Xia

leftover |ˈleftˌōvər|
noun (usu. leftovers)
something, esp. food, remaining after the rest has been used or consumed.

i pick apart my body like
i am leftovers, the marred carcass lying
on the red checkerboard tablecloth at thanksgiving
miles and miles of bone beneath crackled skin and indigo veins
begging the doctor to cure my funhouse mirror eyes
distortions of curves, sweat, and body
a deep growl festers in my stomach that
the light bounces in all the wrong ways

glaucoma |glôˈkōmə|
noun Medicine
a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing gradual loss of sight.

a visit to the doctor tells me that
my eyes are made of disease
a buildup of fluid applying pressure to the optic nerve
but opticians cannot see everything
can’t identify that i see the face of my abuser every morning
find her in shiny faucets, silverware, and the backs of eyelids
i call her Ana and she tells me
i am in control
she stays for birthdays and holidays,
is there to celebrate the empty calorie victories
i am strong
i find myself laughing when the periphery of my vision blurs
maybe i will not see the distinction
between Ana and I with such a visual acuity
we almost look the same, but she is perfect
i have always been too much and not enough
miles and miles of bone 

midnight zone |ˈmidˌnīt zōn|
the part of the pelagic zone that extends from a depth of 1,000 to 4,000 m (3,300 to 13,100 ft) below the ocean surface.

a fumbling down the stairs has me back at the doctor
i tell them it’s nothing, blame it on vision loss and confused limbs
the dizzy spells will not make me weak
i am in control
my doctor says my eyes look flat, like peering
through the lens of a submarine window 5,000 feet under
blank and washed out
but there is no daytime in the midnight zone
organisms here feed on the dead that fall from above,
catching them before their prey sinks into the sea bed
here, i eat myself hollow, swallowing spoonfuls of pitch black until
i am the bottle half empty
in the midnight zone, only the gruesome survive the night
and in the darkness, i look like death
but here i am the captain, the bearer of what passes through me
miles and miles of bone
i am in control

recovery |riˈkəvərē|
noun ( pl. -eries)
the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost

i had forgotten that the sea was blue for so long
so afraid to swallow that
i was not in control
that maybe i could be so in control that i wasn’t at all
and it was so cold down here, feeble bones shaking with
truth made of calories i could not afford
but the moon hung beneath my eyes, begged for me to stay
when she couldn’t herself as she told the sad story of her waning
and i knew this was a cycle i did not want to be a part of
i remembered that the sea is blue
that my eyes were wide open, even when the black lips of night
kissed the light goodnight, i held on to every part of myself i could find
feeling with the hands of a mother who would not let go
and the feet of a father who walked beside me
i remembered that a submarine always resurfaces, passing through
the chest-heavy pressure to breach dark waters
one bite, two bites,
i am going through an archaeological expedition
to find myself again, miles and miles of bone
uncovering baggy clothing and hiding,
back bruising and spinal uprootings
three bites, four bites,
Ana is still here
still whispers that she is in control
coats my tongue with acid, the tastebud of guilt
but here i am trying, finding myself in what is no longer hers

euphotic zone |ˌyoōˈfōtik zōn|
the layer closer to the surface that receives enough light for photosynthesis to occur

there is both day and night here
healing and short of breath sinking
but i steep in sun and know it comes
lips pursed with the first kiss of beginnings
as the water spins golden
I am in control
and it’s okay when i am not
five bites, six bites,


Jennifer is a 16 year old from Plano, Texas.


Sky Wars

By: Saanvi Hitlamani


The night battles the day.

The day to the afternoon.

Then the winner is night.

A whole day is wars for the sky.

Sun and moon are the leaders.

They battle for the sky.

Two teams they have.

Emperors are the sun’s team.

Kings are the moon’s team.

Emperors bring fun.

Kings bring sleep.


Saanvi is a 6-year-old from Cupertino, California.

The 100 Children

By: Sameeksha Singh


There once was a couple who longed for some kids or a child

Though the wife knew that having them would be wild

She knew that they would play and fight

She was very right...


When the time came

Parents they became

The doctor counted them all

(Of course they weren't very tall)

"My, you have 100 CHILDREN!" the doctor said

While the mother put them all to bed


The parents were so very happy for they had more than one child

But the mother had been right—


Are very wild


Sameeksha is a 7-year-old from Seattle, Washington.

Sound of Silence

By: Gabriel Andino


There is a time at night

When the world has gone quiet

Not a single sound is made

And you are overwhelmed by it


The world is at rest

Yet your mind is awake

With nobody to talk to,

What is there to do until dawn breaks?


You find yourself in this situation

Time and time again

A mind and heart yearning for someone to talk to

In desperate need of a friend


This craving for interaction

Is no good for the soul

For with it comes sadness

And this sadness can take a heavy toll


Sitting in the darkness

Simply letting your thoughts roam

With nothing to hear but the sound of silence

This is when you feel most alone.


Gabriel is a 16-year-old student at The Woodlands College Park High School.