Elementia 145th street


Mother Fletcher

By Tripp Shertenlieb

Full-grown Harlem lady Eyes as black as night If caught in a situation Her decision would be right

Full-grown Harlem lady Welcomes every child If one makes a wrong decision They will be reconciled


By Nancy Green

It was a bad day. Mysterious, Big Joe had a bad idea. He was going to ruin our street. Big Joe is a bad man.

I will stop him. I won’t let him do this. Everybody will hate him. I’m not just a little kid. I am going to take charge.


By Bryson Vanlandingham

My name is Peaches, I am not very fond of Big Joe, I think my mother deserves better than a man with dough. He is selfish, impatient, and acts like a child, Even though he helps people, and he has a very big smile. My mother deserves better than Mr.

In The Morning

By Elly Herman

In the morning, I open my eyes Sit up and stretch, and let out small cries. I wiggle my toes, and crinkle my nose, And get out of bed to the sound of rooster crows. I slip on my jeans, and my long furry coat, I creep downstairs and out to feed the goat. I live on a farm, with my uncle and aunt, I

The Tigros

By Sophia Daniel

They are dangerous and frightening, Like a strike of lightning. You have to watch out, Because they can black you out. You try to hold back, Until the police come attack. Watch out they’re coming, Just like lightning is stunning. Can you make it through? So nothing happens to you? You can do it,

Larry, 50

By Samuel Pankey

His music will dance around you And pour into your heart They will run around the rooms And jump around the walls He will bake his notes in emotions For you to taste You will never want to leave His house of soul

Angela, 10 Singer

By Greta Pereira

Out of my mouth Comes a beautiful song All of Harlem Sings along In the church Bells ring Saluting our friend, Big Joe, they sing The world dances to The sweet sound The best is the Earth’s pulse, all around When I stop It is still Except for wind weaving Through the streets and hills In the town

Leroy Brown, 55 Band Leader

By Connor O’Brien

My pulse rises when we begin to play “Amazing Grace” and “One More River to Cross” This is where I belong Playing with the All-Star Stompers all day long I hope they play on my dying day


By Chris Farrell

I live on the streets I don’t have a pillow or sheets I’ve been arrested many times All for stolen goods worth only pennies and dimes I have to steal to survive Even though I don’t really thrive But I’m still me And that’s JT

Freddy Deceased & Homeless

By Chad Roberts

Freddy oh Freddy Is an alcoholic He will beg you to lend him spare change, To grab an ice cold beer at the bar. He will never be quiet! He is underground laying in a coffin. Freddy oh Freddy.

Mother Fletcher

By Ashley Ruckman

My skin dark as a winter’s midnight, Tiny body as delicate as morning light. As worn as dusty books on the attic floor, Don’t expect things to happen on their own anymore. My eyes like coal in a lifeless fireplace, Beneath a dark and bony face.

Poor Great-Great-Grandmother

By Calla Hinderks

A creaking windowpane, Pelted with snow, Reflecting light onto the dusty, deep brown floor. The rooms seems to sigh, pained with age, Abandoned; left waiting, The cold is kept at bay by a single lamp, Filling the small space with warmth. A cracked oven door clicks open, Spreading the aroma of bee

Old Woman

By Greta Pereira

When I look at myself I see Harlem reflected back at me A great city with A great history When I look at myself, I see the roads I have traveled To get here, and though they took a while, In the map of wrinkles in my face They are long, but lead to a smile When I look at myself, In the dark pool

Growing Old

By Hunter Woosley

I used to be young, Running around Harlem having fun. But now I grow old, And the angels are calling.

Time to go home, Time to go home.

Leaving the ones that I love, And meeting the ones that I have lost. Going home at last Knowing that I am done.

Let Me Show Me

By Bailey Reinoehl

Look at her, I look at myself. I see him, I see myself. I find what I want... It’s not an option.

Color shows on her hair, color shows in my eyes. Color brightens his arms, color runs from my mind. Color is what I want... It’s not an option.


By Romila Santra

Mother is marrying Big Joe. Why she decided to, I do not know. Doesn’t she know, She is betraying Father? Doesn’t she know I don’t want to be a daughter, To anyone but Father?

Peaches Jones

By Ciara Smith

Hey! You see that girl? Yeah right over there. Yes the                                pretty

one. Yea she’s pretty as a peach on a large peach tree. But she                        isn't

Big Joe's Fake Funeral

By Alex Pereira

Music Will Play People Will Cry

But Big Joe Didn’t Die

Restaurant owner

By Abby Headley

What makes me me, Is the way I see things. The happiness it brings, That tells others what I see.

The way I see things, Brings out the colors around us, That helps me see clearer, It also brings me nearer to my dear, dear friends.

O’Brien’s Gun

By Anna Castillo

A gun’s cause’s harm To the innocent And gives fairness to the verdict It’s not really the gun but, The soul behind the gun

Kathy O’Brien

By Alexandra Gordon

So much stress is on my mind, she’s your daughter just as much as she is mine. I brush her hair and iron her sweater, when the winter brings such unfriendly weather. You might say your work is rough, well so is every day making our daughter’s lunch. TV takes up so much of your time, instead, you

My Job: Will O'Brien, policeman

By Ryan Fitzgerald

I met a woman Old as dirt Yet nice as the morning sun, Living where some considered The worst part of town Yet somehow She finds time To knit me a sweater Of dark green string Straight from the soul With kindness from the heart All because I did my job And called an ambulance As a good man should

Officer Bill O’Brien

By Alexandra Gordon

My job is so exhausting, I don’t have time for parenting! Maybe my wife should try fighting crime, and I can stay home all day wasting time. All she does is cook and shop and clean, I don’t understand how it’s difficult to do those things. I know my daughter wants me to play with her, but I have

O’Brien, 35: Patrol officer

By Emma Van Lieshout

Walking up and down every street, Every day – thump, thump, thump Go my boots.

Walking past the park Every day – thump, thump, thump Goes the wino’s stereo.

Walking past Mother Fletcher’s house Every day – thump, thump, thump Goes my heart.

Steve Harmon, age 16: Prisoner

By Paige Breyfogle

They say they help, They ain’t no good. Ask for food, Barely get kelp. I wish I could just be F r e e

They don’t believe me When I say, “I ain’t guilty!” They think I am filthy. I wish I could just be F r e e

Anthony Witherspoon

By Tori Shephard

Eating my thoughts, Twisting my mind, Her shadow passes through, My words I can’t find.

She looks to me, waiting, Her eyes pierce my heart, I know what is coming, I can’t let it start.

Lonnie Jackson

By Jacob McIntire

The days are piling up, But I can’t move, So little motivation, Yet so much to prove. I don’t want to be here, But don’t know how to get away, My only escape, Is the game that I play.