growing up


All-American Adolescence

By Riley Strait

Tomorrow, I will worry about the future.
But today, I wallow in the past.

Tomorrow, I will be 16 and trying to remember
if the derivative of arcsin is one over
or square-root-of-u-squared-minus-one.

an uncomfortable comfort

By Leandra Ho

for so long, i’ve crossed the same streets
i’ve smiled and waved to the same people in the hallways
i’ve thought the same thoughts
i’ve loved the same love
but i’ve outgrown my attachment to comfort and my warmth for the familiar sidewalks

From the Beginning

By Riley Strait

Pause, and capture me how I am now:
wrap me up in the minute we just lived:

make me your mosquito in amber –
ephemeral in life, eternal in death.

Freeze and pin me to your little brother’s trifold –
turn me into grade-school, spelling-test vocab:

Real World

By Maddie Miguel

This is the real world
With limited freedom, and lots of things to fear
Where you can’t get away from the truth
This is where violence lives, and people follow you
Where guns are triggered at any time or place
The tears will roll on a sorrowful face

A Haiku on Fitting In

By Anonymous

Being young is hard;
 often feeling all alone.
 Your hair is a mess
 and your face is
breaking out.
 Being young is hard.
You aren’t quite sure of your friends,
 you’re stressed out;
 don’t know if you’re being “cool”.

The End

By Michelle Chan

As children everything is pure
Endless and pure
As you age you notice the stars
Burnt out memories light years away
Only if you can see them
Past your city lights and suburbs.
In their memory we keep living on
And amongst our betrayal and companions


By Justine Greig

I have not changed at all.
It is not true that
I have changed for the better from experience.
It is genuine when I say that
I have not tried to apologize for my past wrongdoings.
I am false when I claim that
I learned from myself and others.

Where I Belong

By Lauren Keller

I was once told that we must take adventures to know where we truly belong, meaning that we have to search to find the perfect place for ourselves. I do not necessarily agree or disagree with this statement.

Available Space

By Faith Freeman

Place: noun, defined as a portion of space available or designated for or being used by someone; i.e. one’s spot at the table, or if you think like me, one’s place in this world.

Empty Suitcase

By Rylee Wilson

Some of us haven’t quite found a place
We wander with suitcases full of self-doubt and worry
We flit from person to person seeking acceptance
We run from place to place
searching for a passion where we can direct the never ending flow of time

The Mark of Love

By Kaylie MacLaughlin

Aria pointed at the little flower on her ankle with a short, chubby finger and asked her mother in her unpracticed, fragmented English about what it was. “Pretty,” she said, her ‘r’ little too rounded and her voice broken up by her childish laughter.


By Holly Murfey

There was a time when innocence meant nothing to me.
She was a veil over the childhood I had
And took for granted,
And when she was stripped I wanted her back.
She was pillaged in the basement
of an old friend’s house.
She lay shattered on the sheets

Dear Me: 1 Year Ago

By Emme Mackenzie

Dear Me,
You lose in the end.
In the end, you cry for 6 months and spend sleepless nights wondering why you weren’t enough.
In the end, your bedsheets become tissues for your tears and your pillow becomes a microphone.
Sadness will shake the walls of your room.

red heels

By Claire Hutchinson

when you click your heels and wish for home, where exactly is it that you go? i packed away all my ambition in manilla envelopes of faded dreams and sent them away to coral reefs so schools of fish a generation after me could learn from my mistakes.


By Annie Barry

She stood in front of a mirror
Clean and sober thinking about how she feels taller than her own reflection

Then she took an injection

A Blessing or The Victory of Another Eighty-Two Years

By Molly Hatesohl

I remember Pauline Miller. Before she moved,
She lived in an understated, light green, box of house
on Raldoph Avenue.
She lived there for a long time.

childhood home

By Emily Martin

she is four years old
toddling around
on wooden floors
like a spinning top,
too short to reach the cabinets or
see above the sink,
clambering atop
to reach her
pink plastic glasses


By Abbey Roschak

Age is just a number
We all start out at one
But someone’s first year
Is another’s seventh
Their neighbor’s eleventh
My fifteenth

An Ode to My Innocence

By Kathryn Malnight

You ruffled dress.
You lip glossed, 
clean tongued, classy individual.


By Gillian Knaebel

Alone to my thoughts, to my terrors,
Wishing upon days we were careless,
Remembering a time, 
Like a nursery rhyme,
Where our greatest fears were that of the fearless.


By Maddie Bauman

When I was a little girl,
I wanted to be a princess,
then a vet,
then a president.
I know many girls who at my age
shared those dreams.
The ones I look at now and think
What was I thinking?
Those aren’t possible!
But for a little girl,