Thursday, December 22, 2016

In a Deep and Dark December

The snow may not be falling yet, but winter break is almost here, and the darkest day of the year is already behind us!  We are proud to bring you both poetry and an essay this month.  The poetry is inspired by parallel structure, using repetition to artfully arrive at an insight.  The essay is about tracing an obsession to its roots, its beginning. And can you name the classic song that inspired our title for this month?

We hope this month's post brings you some inspiring reading during your time off from school!


It could've been prevented.
If only . . .

If only you weren't stubborn.
If only you listened.
If only you went to the doctor.
If only you weren't sick.
If only you didn't always deny the fact that you weren't feeling well.
If only you made the call.
If only you went to the hospital weeks before.

If only it wasn't too late.
If only it was a dream.
If only it didn't happen to you.

If only I could have prevented it.
If only I had forced you to see someone.
If only I could build a time machine.
If only I asked you if you were okay more often.
If only I could've been around more.
If only I dragged you to the doctor.
If only I could go back.
If only I said goodbye in time.

But it's too late . . .
You're gone.

You and your sister have the same face.
It hurts every time I see her, cause I also see you.
I miss you.
She misses you. She's not the same since you left.
She sees the light in life, but it's harder when you're not there to guide her.
She's different, she's changed.

I've changed.
I'm not the same.

It's been what, four years?
Four years without you.
Four years ago cancer took you away.
You fought beautifully.
But it wasn't enough to keep you here.
It wasn't enough to save the kindest soul that God has ever created.

If only you were here...
If only cancer didn't exist.
If only I could go on with life.
If only there wasn't a gaping hole in my heart where you should be.

If only--

by Grace A., Grade 9 

artwork by Sophie M., Grade 8

Growing Pains

I was a little over one year old the first time I spoke,
And even then, even at so small, my parents knew I would be a talker,
A rambler, a storyteller.

I was seven years old the first time I dragged out the miniature keyboard I found buried in the bonus room upstairs and began to record notes until I found an arrangement I appreciated, to my parent's confusion and wonder.

And even then, before I reached the fifth grade, my parents knew I would be learner,
A thinker, a mind so malleable it was practically clay.

I was ten years old the first time I was painfully aware of the emptiness of my lunch table,
The first time I realized I pushed a little more than I pulled, that the silence was as comforting as it was empty.
And that was the first time I realized I liked being alone, but even more, I hated being lonely.  

I was twelve years old the first time it came clear to me that I was sad a little more than I was happy,
The first time it was clear that my tears flowed too freely, that I craved even a word from a stranger.
And that was the first time I knew I needed someone, anyone, if I wanted to escape the dark that plagued me. 

I was fourteen years old when found myself giggling for no reason, with people that had no reason to like me but did.
That was the first time that I realized my heart no longer crept into my throat with jealousy every time I looked upon people that were so painfully and obviously happy, that I knew I had the potential to finally be a full piece of a person. 

And that was the first time I knew I deserved to be happy.

by Jessica I., Grade 9 

artwork by Grace S., Grade 8

The Roots of My Obsession: My Baseball Glove

11:43 PM. The bright screen of the desktop illuminates my face, for it is the only light in the house. The clicking of the mouse fills the room, and it is the only noise: Attempt number twenty-one of creating the perfect glove. Red . . . no. Navy blue . . . closer, but still no. Then it all comes together like two pieces of a puzzle. I furiously put in the options: the lace length, my name font, and the webbing type. I have done it, the perfect glove, and the glove of my dreams. It’s a Wilson A2000 size eleven-and-a-half. The baby blue and grey melt together like a glaze on a cinnamon bun.       
A baseball glove is the most important thing for a baseball player. It catches the ball to make outs, and if you don’t have outs then your team won’t get to bat to score runs. And if you don’t score any runs then you can’t possibly win the game. So you see, the key to winning all comes back to a good glove. As early as I can remember I was always having  a catch in the backyard with my dad. Baseball was -- and still is -- a religion that I eat, breath, and sleep.
It is the longest three weeks of my life waiting for my beauty to arrive, like a wife waiting for her husband to return home from the war. Every day after school I go online and track my package like I was tracking an enemy ship. Long days pass until after school on one seemingly ordinary day. “Ding-dong”. I become Usain Bolt and the doorbell is my starting gun. I sprint as fast as I can down the stairs, each thump meaning getting closer to my destiny. As I approach the door I see a man wearing a brown UPS uniform with a glove-sized package. “Hi, I have a package for a Mrs. Mary B.” My hope then dwindles. I take the package and close the door.
I slam the box down on the table as I suspect it is for my mother. I plop on the couch and think, “Wait . . . I used her credit card to buy the glove!” I stand up and I am Usain Bolt once again, darting for the package. I extend my commute to the scissors. I grasp them with my hand shaking and pause. I take a deep breath and slice the box down the middle and see something like never before. I delicately open the bag with my forefingers, and a rush of leather scent flies into my nostrils. I become a surgeon and take the glove out of the box without touching the sides. I put the glove on my trembling hand. My hand greets the newest member of my family with nurturing and love.
If I am at practice or in a game, every time that glove wraps my hand in laces and leather, it feels like the very first time. I get that rush and emotion that bubbles inside me like hot water.  I use that as fuel to play better. This glove makes me the baseball player I am today.

by David B., Grade 9

And now for the recipes of the month, discovered, as always, by our editor Emily. Enjoy!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hot Chocolate