‘and then your heart will/ start to hear like a drum’: Open Mic Poems

Students wrote poems in the ‘Open Mic’ style after reading the poem by Black poet and playwright Zetta Elliot’s piece, ‘Mic Check.’

Lesson Note: Making your own work is really important. [We] made work in the face of 1000 no’s by just going and doing it ourselves. How to grow as an artist is to do things that you don’t know how to do.”– Zoe Lister-Jones, Rich Roll Podcast

Ms. Romano, 7th Grade

I’m Unique

by Kareen H.

I have to say something. I have to say that I’m unique. I have to say this today because I am unique, like the eagle that grabs fish out of the water. Like ideas that just flow around. But don’t have fear it’ll to in one ear down your spine where you should find love and happiness.

Ms. Turner, 6th Grade


by Jamarion C.

I’m here to say

how to really start your

day I say it today

because I love the morning

for me to play my words

will bounce to you like

basketballs don’t fear

it’ll go through your head

and then your heart will

start to hear like a drum

my heart beats with

joy I try and try to make

the day go my way

Keep it Sweet!

by Neveah C.

Mic Check

One two

One two

Is this thing on?

I want to say something! Everybody listen!

I need to say keep it sweet don’t let it

beat you in your sleep. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it sweet.

I have to say it today because some of ya’ll don’t listen.

My words bounce off the sage like a sentence bounces

off the page! Don’t fear it’ll go right into your ear

and then your heart finally disappears

you have to learn to earn. My attention

goes wild on your first impression. I love all kinds, even

mine. You’re unique like a boutique, but for me,

you’re all I need.

Ms. Romano, 7th Grade

Open Mic Poem

by Hasan A.

I want to say pigments. I have to say it today because

of immigrants. Cops always put them in encampments

because of their false figments

on the ‘illegal’ immigrants. Always keeping vigilant

of the police wanting to cause

their document aliens, wanting them to leave

because of their pigments.

Mrs. Turner, 6th Grade

Clear the Fear

by Imani C.

I need to say I’m glad I’m here

I’m trying to overcome this fear

I’ll try not to disappear and keep my mind


I’ve finally got over my fear

Now everyone’s waiting to hear

My heart starts to clear my

mind of worry-tears

Now I’m not afraid and I

have cleared the fear

Open Mic

by Marie B.

Mic check

One two

One two

Is this thing on?

I want to say something

everybody listen

I have to say that I am brave

I have to say it today because I don’t show it

My words bounce off the stage like if would

bounce off the page

don’t have fear

It’ll go into your ear

then your heart will start to clear.



“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.