My Underwater World
Bobbing up and down
gliding in a vertical motion
cutting through the water.
almost ghost like.
clear fresh water,
seaweed covered bottom
sunlight hitting the surface.
Each one with their own shade of
The shade of grass
or unripe tomatoes
of mint and rosemary
and of pine trees.
Each with their own unique texture
imprinted on their curved bodies.
As I silently watch, admiring the peaceful creatures
I see quiet
Minding their own business, living in their own seahorse world.
Tucked away in their shells
each with their own pattern
hexagons and designs of the wind
or sloppy circles of a dark shade on a background of light
like a piece of wooden furniture.
They look like space crafts hovering in the water.
The mix of brown and dark greens
make them seem part of the earth.
I watch, curiosity rushing through my blood.
I see vivacious and carefree, as if he broke through his shell
ready to face the world
but then shy and insecure
and he crawls back into his shell, terrified
as if the sea was a monster and he was the only
Dependent upon their families,
and anti-social outside of them.
Minding their own business, living in their own turtle world.
The front side
of a rough texture in an undefined orange
the back side
filled, circle next to circle,
with small suction cups
allowing the star to attach itself to a surface.
I watch, my judgement being formed.
The creature sticks to this, sticks to that, as if in a game.
When I pick him up I see differently.
Delicate, and appealing to the eye.
Joyful but not loud
proud to be different than the other fish.
but not isolated.
Minding his own business, living in his own starfish world.
Where I’m From
I am from the vast, green lakes
at Camp Wayne and Crane Lake.
I am from the driveway in front of my mom’s place
(big, and semi-circular, taxi drivers get confused.)
I am from Woody’s laundry next to my dad’s place
and the messy bottom bunk bed
with the white knit blanket and blue pillow.
I’m from the Nike sneakers I liked only in the store
and my cherished high-top converse that were worn past shabby.
From v-necks t-shirts and awkward jeans
loose on the waist, but tight on the legs.
I’m from thoughtful notes in my binder and my colored pencil case
filled with an excessive supply of writing utensils.
From homework, and music blasting in my ears.
I’m from “please rise” and “you may now be seated,”
and The Four Questions at Passover.
I’m from Central Park and Times Square.
From bendy straws in every glass of orange juice,
and Tylenol to relieve my frequent stress headaches.
From the finger I use to straighten
the wooden framed snapshot
along with many others
on the wall full of memories that cover my life.
My first time apple picking,
our vacation in California, and my cousin’s engagement party.
From the crowded messages on my phone,
and my favorite worn out sweatshirt.
Gum wrappers scattered around,
and intense but not competitive races in the pool.
I am from laughter-
from subway rides place to place,
stop after stop,
memory after memory.
Age 13, Grade 8,
NYC Lab MS for Collaborative Studies
Gold Key Silver Medal