Poems by High School Students in the DC Creative Writing Workshop 

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Original poetry from high school students throughout DCPS.

Happy New Year

I crawl into the new year
Expecting a change
But not really seeing a difference
I can already see the clouds rolling in
Struggle hits me like lightning
Burning my shyness and bringing with it a rain of agony

Last year was just as bad
Maybe a bit calmer, but still the usual
Thunderstorm of pain
Flashes of confusion
Thoughts, questions come storming in
How can a heart beat if it's broken?

That year I thought I went flying into it
This year I peeked in on the cold month
And went crashing down

The year just started
Already I'm trapped by guilt
Burning a hole in my mind
How long shall I be trapped?
I'll wait until it passes, just like every year

Nichell Kee

Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, Grade 10

The Time Is Right to Make

The time is right to make
The world a better place for
kids also adults to live better
all the colorblind people could see
bright as day

The time is right to
care for people who are disabled
and not laugh. Toss up the hating
and become happy.

The moon speaks louder than the sun
my heart beats more than it's
supposed to when I see someone
stress. I always try to give an extra hand.

The time is right
warm the frostbitten fingers
from the cold snow. I plant my seeds
into the clouds above to make me a
better person.

Renita Williams

Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, Grade 11


He's among the top three,
Not in class, but the whole country.
Self-proclaimed genius, but modesty is his profession,
But his pointless confessions further hide his depression,
Fate is cruel, ending is a mess,
Tears of woe fill the room, but I digress.
No help from anyone, but I have to confess,
With a mind like that, this took me by surprise,
His ingenuity and intelligence shouldn't be his demise,
Why can no one hear his cries?
I believe I can handle that question myself,
He never asked anyone for help.

Sequan Wilson

Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, Grade 10


To get through these long hours
I count the coffee tables
and how many steps I'll take before
I jump in. I check the time twice
and zone out, but the time is not up.
I pay the scenario, keep a penny in my pocket
Just for the thoughts.

Maryum Abdullah

Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, Grade 11


I put aside the enmity
and just try to enjoy life
to the fullest
like everybody else
I watch the world go by
not time
as I speak to the disembodied spirits
disquieted by my eyes
of what I see
my miasma of fear
I try to overcome.

Janine Green

Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, Grade 10

Different Things

Suppose the sun leaves the sky
or that my heart leapt from my chest
and my tears were overflowed with regret

One of these voices is telling me what I need to know
Another one, the wily, one told me lies
But my ears only heard the untold visions

The room is full of shadows
The air is full of sweet velvet smell
my heartbeat is drunk on rhythm

Black against the fog and snow
crumbling to the ground are my forgotten dreams
My hope is cradled with fear from my nightmares

All winter we'll wander in a red wagon
But all summer we'll travel in everlasting destiny
Fall would be entirely different traveling on fallen leaves

I am a temporary citizen in the town on hatred
Next I'll move to funny
But for now my car of things is fed up with broke down

Nichell Kee

Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, Grade 10

The True Definition of a Man

I was told the true definition of
a man was never cry, work till
you die, got to provide,
always be the rock for my family
and protect them by all means,
a poem gives me the chance to
express what I want, I see
about what a man’s to be,
but I know a true man should
be able to express his feelings mentally,
and I don’t see anything wrong
with men showing feelings physically.
A poem helps me get over break-ups
and sorrow,
also brings me hope when I dread
for tomorrow.

Steven Reed

Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, Grade 10

I Be I Don’t Know

I be broke down cars
I be stolen vehicles at night
I be stuff happens, my bad
I be what up
No reason for it
I be silence it
Was a gift
I be thrashed victims
Murder for no reason
I be corner smarts, black smarts and
A little Higher Education
I be guidance counselors
I be attendance for the fallen
I be quitting when it gets too
Hard, I be surviving through a
School day
I be a poet

Damon Kee

Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, Grade 11


Winds blow, sky’s blue, flutes play
He realizes he’s no longer a kid
Not ready to be a man
Eyes gleaming with happiness
Heart filled with a matter of dust

This dust is different
Not related to dirt
More like a shiny sprinkle of shininess
Landing amidst his chest
Shining bright like the light
Glowing across the sea at 12:03 am
Beautiful, isn’t it?

His newfound discovery of himself
Being stuck in the middle
Not knowing where he is
What to do, where to go
Who’s to help
He just travels with that shininess in him
Hoping that the flutes never stop
The sky never falls, the wind keeps blowing
And his heart keeps glowing.

Aaron Brooks

Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, Grade 11


A poem to me is a waste of time,
an unneeded pain, a rough draft of migraines,
more unwanted thoughts drenching paper.

Yeah, it makes sense, I guess.
I don’t see how people find hope in metaphoric nonsense,
or how they convey secret messages through it.

All we are is bullets.
And the words trigger confusion,
minds bleed a pride puddle.

A poem to me is another way of screaming out loud.
When I’m frustrated, a break of some sort,
a natural euphoria.

Maryum Abdullah

Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, Grade 11

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