What does it mean to be standing with one foot in childhood and the other in the unknown? Our seventh graders share their thoughts in this poem, which they wrote together as a class and presented on stage at the end of their Declamations.
Here they are, in their own words:
Standing on the Edge
A poem written by the Class of 2018 at Grymes Memorial School
We are standing on the edge of change
when we look back, we see Pretend in a tutu waving goodbye
when we look forward we see Reality in a suit urging us on…
our edges are disintegrating… unraveling
Who am I today???
Today I am:
an athlete dreaming of a green field
a girl who acts like she doesn’t care, but she does
I am the boy who can square pi to twelve places but can’t tie my shoe!
I am a girl wishing my salad was a donut.
I am a boy who wants to be outside.
I am a girl who can’t stop giggling.
I am an athlete stuck at a desk.
I am a Lost Girl in Neverland.
I’m a guy who woke up on the right side of the bed…
and I, the boy in the story that I read long ago…
Today, I am a boy who wishes he had a flame thrower…
I am a selfie queen.
I am a dancer through and through.
I am a reader or is it a writer?
I am a girl who loves horses.
No wonder I am silent… grumpy with the feelings of change
and when you ask… “Is something wrong?”
the answer is “Nothing and everything.“
You must adjust to my new face
which is both beautiful and brutal
strong and weak
I am loud and silent….
jagged and smooth
a rock and a stone
honest and deceiving
hot and cold
I am both night and day
funny and serious
needy and arrogant
I can be a rose or a thorn
a prince or a frog
margarine or butter
I can’t believe it’s not butter!
What is wrong?
We don’t know the answer…
but we aren’t who you think we are…
we aren’t sure who we think we are…
We are dreamers
we like our doors shut, sometimes
we are busy writing our prologue
we are night owls
We are fine… don’t worry
we are rule breakers
we are Instagram stalkers
we discover new things everyday
while putting others away forever…
Do not mourn the loss of our childish ways,
we have built who we are on top of those days…
and we remember:
all the stories you read to us
all the walks we took,
all the ice cream cones eaten,
and all the games played
all the drives we took
and the cookies we baked
our movie nights with popcorn
and all the barbecued burgers and dogs
and of course all the nerf battles
and games of tag
all the pool games we played
and the bike rides
they are here, in us… holding us
Can’t you hear them beating in our chest?
Thanks for teaching us:
How to cross the street
and how to know my left from right
You taught me not to lick a cactus
or play in the toilet
You taught me to walk
and then encouraged me to run
You said it’s okay to cry
You taught me to look twice…
and you showed me how to make a friend
We are standing on the edge: unraveling, disintegrating…
no wonder we are silent when you ask, “ Where is my girl?”
or “Where is my boy?”
We have no idea… but
we do know that the voyage will be more wondrous than the landing…
that there is no need to rush…
We are busy exploring this new space…
experimenting with sorrow and joy…
bravado and silence
testing rage and judgement
playing with lazy and productive
trying out earnest and disgusted
adjusting truth… telling lies
acting bored and excited…
Ready or not here we are
in all our variations….
it’s uncomfortable – this feeling of change
But we are on the move with it
So… remember… We aren’t who you think we are…
We are standing on the edge… unraveling… disintegrating
yet, we can see our truth… bits and pieces of it
and we can feel the tug of your anchor
that inspires us to throw a rope around a dream…
cast a line to the far bank…
take a part in a play
drive around an opponent and shoot
lasso a book
shoot for the blue ribbon
slide-tackle a striker
We are unraveling
and raveling at the same time
with a Heart full of maps
and Hope like an ocean.