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Franjola, SL, Ode to the Parents of Poets


SL Franjola
Age: 15, Grade: 10

School Name: Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, New York, NY
Educator: Joy Franjola

Category: Poetry

Ode to the Parents of Poets

Your child comes to you,
toting poems and a death wish
fallen victim to a red notebook
and a secondhand copy of The Bell Jar
spilling their soul over a page
to let out the things that sting

Teach them to breathe.
paint their phrases in antiseptic
and catch their tears instead,
tell them a pen is not a scalpel.
They can try to cut things away 
but at the end they’ll be left with 
a conglomerate of love poems
who shattered them
they’d rather forget the titles.

Stories are contagious
you’ll find yourself spinning 
to tragedies of other lives
leave them all for your poet
and pick up the pieces later on

When you hear a drawl and a lilt
like a piano out of tune
you’ll know 
that the writing and the writer
have become one and the same
both crafted by your loving hand,
(don’t blame yourself.)