Collective Poems by LitWorld Girls Club Harlem

Last week, we had New York City's youth poet laureate Zora Howard come in for a visit, and she helped the girls write collective poems. Here are two of their chose pieces that reflect their current thoughts and emotions, written by each and every girl that attended (with contributions from myself, Jen Estrada, and Zora!)


My anchors, they hold me down strong

When needed they always come along

But when around other people, they act like they don't know

Friends, friends

Or so they say, or so I thought, or so it should have been

You prove that things aren't always what they seem

You become a whole other person I haen't seen

But I know that you know you do this

You're my friend and I'm telling you as a friend to stop and be yourself.

It's you I laugh with until my sides start aching- not this person you are painting.

You have an image that confuses me, is it a truth, or a lie?

When will your true colors come out

Because I can't wait for that day to come when somebody tells you off like me, a friend

True friends are true colors that stick to you,

They show the best inside of you, like a mirror revealing your strength to the world

But they can also bring out the worst, the weakness

"Family Issues"

They are always yelling

About this and about that

Nobody is listening to what I have to say

I am yelling a silenced rebellion

Screaming from the pits of my soul, but they hear nothing but silence

I think of torturous things to do, hoping to get their attention

But they are still my family

And they are still first, in my heart, though it hurts sometimes

A love unshakable and immovable like mountains rooted in Earth

A comfort so deeply needed

I scream, I cry, I plead, and yet, I do not succeed

I surrender from this family

I am taking a step back for myself. Inside of me everything is good, everything is bad, things I embrace, and things I will let go of.

When will I let go and tell you all you need to know

Because that day will hit harder than you'll ever know.