Age: 13, Grade: 8
School Name: Anderson School Public School 334, New York, NY
Educator: Karen Kabahar
We Stand Connected
Part I – Influence
“She is connected”
Droplets of envy in that women’s eyes
Her husband’s nod weighs heavy over her cries.
“We simply do not have the ties.”
Connected. Each word, segment of threads
Extending from her fingers to their heads
Marionettes. Chasers, follow the signs
You’ll see favors are granted at end of the lines.
No, this is binding, mutilation, burns third degree
For spirit, mine and theirs. Meant to roam free
Spreading candor as messages touch.
Don’t connections hold us in an iron clutch?
Part II – Influenza
Fevered hands, Burning cheek,
Swollen veins shining through skin peak
Reminding of his illness before its start
My brother has occupied my heart.
Connected, brother and sister,
Tears and sweat both still glister,
What does he see in closed eyes?
Fabricated wishes and lies.
His fever raging, flown too high
A bird who’s lost the sky
I hold his skinny bones in my arms
Wipe sweat from tightly clutching palms
Part III – Injury
Diagnosis. Whisper this word at night
As cures dance through morning light.
Each test, failure–further pain
Each try–more aggressive, in vain
I see her melting in my own eyes.
Connected. I can hear quiet cries
Through walls and locks and barricades,
While a waterfall of pain cascades.
Crowdsourcing. A promise of hope
A way for her and me to cope,
I’ll run another thousand tests
Connected, I still hope for the best.
Part IV – Intouch
No likes on my post. No likes, still.
I feel unwanted, abandoned, ill.
Keep clicking. May be someone will care.
The screen is returning empty glare.
I am short of breath, room closing in
Windows, walls are starting to spin.
Still no likes. No likes on my post.
I am discarded, road garbage, ghost
Connection cut to my world of fame.
I’m out of options. I am ending the game.
What is left when nothing is there to say?
Inner strength, if not gambled already away.