Summer poems and goodbyes

The kids are gone for the summer, but the Workshop staff is still working hard at portfolio evaluations and gearing up for next fall. All the office work makes us miss the kids! Going through student work from the spring, I found this poem that a student wrote on the last day of Writing Club.

We were celebrating the end of the year, but she was upset that we weren’t writing and asked me if she could write a poem on her own. This is a student who spent a lot of the year pushing back against authority. She’s stubborn and loud and uses all her smarts to provoke confrontation. She likes conflict and is uncomfortable with positive attention; praising her effusively always led to her acting out.

Teenagers are so hard to read sometimes. They pour most of their energy into convincing everyone that they don’t care. I get taken in by that sometimes, and then they go and write the most surprisingly heartfelt poems, and I have to reprimand myself for being surprised. It’s one of the things that makes poetry so valuable–providing a space where emotion doesn’t have to be resisted. This student is headed to Ballou next year, and Writing Club will be a shade less lively in her absence. I won’t say too many nice things about her because I know that would make her uncomfortable, but we’ll miss her straight-up no-nonsense delivery, and the nuanced imagery that she always tried to sneak in like it was no big deal. Here’s her poem:

It All Over

It’s the end of time
no more parties, games or fun
It’s time to say bye
to all my lost dreams and
unspoken words
Time passed me by
like the wind that flew
past my face
If that’s the case
it’s all over
No more thinking
outside the box
or sitting inside
eating cool pop tarts
Time to fly
let the wind pass by
It won’t get no colder
cause it all over


About dccww

Abbey Chung is the Program Manager for DCCWW. She started working for the Workshop in 2008 and can't imagine a better place to be. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2011 with a B.A. in creative writing. While at Oberlin she worked as a writing tutor at the Oberlin Writing Center and taught poetry at Langston Middle School. She is also a graduate of the Clarion West Writers' Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons,, and The Susquehanna Review, and she is the winner of the 2012 Larry Neal First Prize for Fiction.

Posted on July 5, 2012, in Student Work, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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