With Love: A Collective, Part 1

There are some things we never get to say, until we do. This class we discussed mothers, mother/son and mother/daughter relationships, often so complex, no one could truly measure their meaning. Leading up to Mom’s Day, I read to my 7th and 8th grade students an essay that one of my former students, who passed away in 2015, wrote in 2014, called “My mother, My Inventor”, where my student told a story of hurt and neglect, that turned into forgiveness and redemption. It reinforced the idea that our families, though complicated, modern and sometimes broken, always have goodness and love to find in them, if you look with the best parts of you.  In this time, we must also acknowledge the experiences of those who do not have a mother or not in the traditional sense. The students took it to task – everything may not be not a Hallmark card, but we got love for Moms everywhere.

On a lighter note, we also read Juan Felipe Herrera’s, My Mother’s Name Lucha, a very sparse, yet sweet and powerful poem (In continuation of our celebration of Mother’s Day, the 6th graders will write poems after Herrera next  class, as 7th grader, MyKiara chose to do this week). These poems to mothers are sweet, they are honest, they are funny and they are for you…Moms…and there are more to come.

Also this class, the 6th grader’s poems display their completion of their work on their collective poems on the topic of bullying. They each contributed lines to several stanzas, and then discussed how the stanzas fit together and gave the new creation a title. I played the role of editor this week and helped to make their tapestry poems as seamless as possible. Be advised, I did not add any words. Everything that you will read were the students’ words, I merely assisted with the arrangement of them. I am very pleased with how they turned out and I hope they are too. I promised them it would work…Please enjoy these very different interpretations of love this week.

7th Grade

Kamarria W.
To my mother

Dear Mother,
You are the best mom I could ever have
Even though I get on your nerve
And you get on mine
You are the only one who’s been there for me
When no one was
I appreciate everything you do for me
I love you with all my heart
And happy Mother’s Day

Tyson T.


You’ve spent lots of years
of your life to raise me
You deserve to be lazy
Even though I drive you crazy
You still call me baby

Nakiya A.
To the lady who birthed me

It was a lady name Nakima
She was light skinned, lots of hair
And nice. When she was 22
is the time when she had a
beautiful black princess.
It was June 28, 2003.
I was born at Jackson
Park hospital
I am the second oldest
Of 4 girls. My mother does
The best that she can
For 4 girls
Some days, it might be hard
But she still does the best
She could
“Letter to my Mother”
You for anything.

Maurice F.
My Mother

My mother is light
And light like the sun
She helps me when I’m sad
or I try to help her
when she is sad
and when she is sad
it is hard to look at
it is when she is happy
it makes
me feel good
that I was
there for

Happy Mother’s Day
After Juan Felipe Herrera

Your lips my cheeks

Love     kindness     comfort

You   I       Chicago      Westside      2002,

3:48 in the morning

I sing       you      dance        we

Sing and dance

My love                        my heart

All         life            now

I bow                      to you

Thank            you

8th Grade

Talleda P.
The Mother I Always Loved

Mother, we have our ups and downs
And we argue and fight.
You are my mother and I would do anything
For you.

I be so mad. That is why I say them mean things
To you.
But when I had my baby, everything was different.
Everything changed, was never the same.
I know I put you through a lot and I know
You going through a lot, but I am too
I had a baby, but I still want to be a kid
Like everybody else.

My feeling be so hurt when I ask you,
“Can I do something?”
And you say, “NO.”

Yes mother, I can say that you is mean and crazy,
But that will never stop my love.
The love I have for you is crazy.

Jessica V.
Oh Mom

How much I love you,
You are the best mom,
When I ask you for something
You never say no and never
Let me down.
You are a very nice and smart mom.
Mom, sometimes, on those days
that you just don’t feel like doing nothing
but you never give up on you or us
as your children
Mom, you are also there for me
no matter what you have going on
at work or any place.
I think you are just the right mom for me
And im right for you
I’m so glad that you are in my life and that you are not a mean mom
I love you to the moon and back
And I’ll never let you fall down
I know you love me and I love you
I’m really enjoying my life with you
If I have any problems, you will help me out
When I go to sleep, I don’t forget to give you a kiss
Mom, I will never forget how wonderful you are,
Love you Ma,
And you will never forget how much
I love you

Erial M.
First Lady

You, you’re the first lady I have ever met
And the first lady that I will never forget
You made me the intelligent young woman
I am now, you gave me the looks
You gave me the style
You gave me the hair that’s gone all wild.
Words can’t explain what we’ve been through
And all the times we’ve had
You make me happy, but sometimes you make me mad
I love you mother even when times have gone bad
I wouldn’t trade you for nothing because I cherish
All the memories we had
Happy mother’s day because you’re the best mother.

6th Grade

These Hurtful Days
By Destiny W., Kamara M., DeMarcus T., Sequoya D., and Da’Naijia W.

Mean words bring tears
Scars and missing days
Pushing and touching
Blood and broke bones

My friends cant take up for herself
So maybe I can
I try my best to keep her standing
But everybody on the land seems
Like they don’t understand

It hurts my to see my friend getting bullies
I am afraid she might go away

Bullying is not safe
It hurts people in many ways
It makes people go through a phase
I’m tired of these days
Because I get hurt in all ways

Afraid to leave my house,
Kids might find me and put me to the ground
I feel myself, as little as a mouse
I keep asking myself, why am I letting myself down?

Scared to go to school
Crying and doing harmful things
I don’t know what to do
Can I even do anything?
People ending up dead
 Everything been going bad
And now our mothers are looking sad

Walking down the street, see a fight
Parent letting kids out of their sight
Thinking to myself, aint nothing never gone be right?

Making it to school still following the same rules
And nobody is doing nothing about this school
I don’t know what I should do
I think I should move
Walking every day in fear
Every time I walk in those doors you see a tear

Being alone singing sad songs
All I can think of is, when can I go home?

Trying to stay away from other people and their friends
Making a change and having a chance

Me and myself alone
Trying to see, what is going on?

By Aniya C., Micah T., Don N., and Navarra T. 

Darkness envelops us all, but why?
Everyone is their own person, but why?
Stop the bullying
Treat people how you want to be treated
Bullies bring people to the dark side
They infect others and madness crowds, but why?

I hate my life, I hope it disappears
Dreams are fading, disappearing and dying
People in this world are hopeless
Why do I even care?
And bullies make it worse
Stop the bullying because it brings darkness

By Keyonna W., William G., Jeremiah M., and Malachi L.

Words are powerful
They can hurt you
Even make you do something
That you would regret
For the rest of your life
Dealing with a bully is like dodging a bullet
Running and slipping, hoping
That he or she won’t catch you

Words are hurtful
It hurts you so hurts you so hard
That you drop to the floor and sometimes cry

You stand there in the dark alone
Until a hand comes from the light
And helps you out of the dark to stand your guard

You cannot stop it if you don’t say something
If you say something, you will be heard
And it will stop

Bullying is Stupid
By Darrion B., Kori R., Jawan J., and Jamil M.

Love is very hard to give to people
Love is a hard thing to keep
The pain I face, why can’t they see
Somebody please help me
I try to ignore, but here comes more
Why do people kill?
Why do I live here?
It’s better to walk away
Bullying can be stopped today

Why Me?
By Takarionna G., Shariel H., Kaniya H., and Jamarion H.

When bullies come, I go
Bullies do things to kill my soul, my love
They can hate me, but I still love them all

Bullying on me because I’m small
Bullies are mean to me. Why?

Why are you doing little things to me?
Why do you hate me so much? Why me?

Why do you like to push me around?
Why do you like to take my things?
Make my heart shatter to pieces? Why me?

Buddies over Bullies
By NiJayla B, Vonique Q., Jabar, Nashawndius W., and Jaeda S.

Bullying is the meaning of weakness
Bullying is so hurtful to people
who are already weak

The girl with no friends
The girl who’s to blame
The boys that are lame

Some people try to bring others
others down. But that’s
how others get down

when people get bullied
people have bad thoughts
racing through their minds.

Now people that are being bullied
Are thinking about committing

Bullying is full of pain
Something that can’t be regained
It’s something that sticks with you

It hurts, but it can’t be shown
You have to speak up so your voice
can be known

By Amarion H, Elijah B., Dann y S. and Cherif H.

Don’t be standing by
Let you control you
Do what you have to do
To be nice to everyone
Mind your own business
So you don’t get caught up
And get into trouble

You don’t set the time
Let our hero set it
Don’t feel let down the same way they do.
We are just like you
So what are you going to do about it?
Make people feel better than you do
So I do me and you do you
And just go with the flow

Prevent bullying every day

Prevent bullying everyone!!!
Be yourself  🙂

Be you

Be unique
Be successful
Be something in life



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.