After watching Amanda Gorman deliver her powerful performance of “The Hill We Climb” for President Biden’s inauguration, the 7th grade poets from West Park Academy wrote an open letter describing some of the societal ills they’ve witnessed in their young lives. Themes of gang violence, mental health, environmental justice, and homelessness are among some of the issues discussed in their letters.
Dear Human Society,
Countless prays for people.
Praying if they will have food on the table the next day.
Or if they will get home safely.
The days you think that one day the world will be a better place.
Young beings holding a dirty cardboard that says “Need Help”
Walking along the road aimlessly desperate for hope.
Street violence is trouble
Blood fills the canals
Mothers in despair
Fathers shed tears
The stench drowns
Our community is falling
If we remain this way
Lots of looting
Lots of shooting
Always killing not kissing
Dear Dirty Streets,
Dirty trash everywhere on the sidewalk,
People just leave their trash on the grass.
Grass are living plants, they need fresh air.
But with the garbage around them, they could die from it.
People need to take care of their surroundings!
If it wasn’t for the trees we wouldn’t have fresh air.
So, we need to take care of the living plants!
Innocent people are getting caught in shootouts
And end up getting shot and dying
Then there’s the revenge, the payback
A never-ending cycle
Stop the violence!
Dear Mental Health,
They tried to kill themselves like 10 times
I tried to give them advice
But they denied
I asked for help but I had no one to help
One night. Pitch black.
You can hear the owls
The moon reflecting on the water
I walked in and there they were
Blood dripping down their wrist
There, just laying on the floor
I was crying for help