As the Clock Ticks: Aging Poetry

For their third virtual poetry lesson the 8th graders of Haugan Elementary explored the concept of aging. Students were asked What does aging mean to you? In what ways have you changed since growing older? Most students defined aging as becoming more mature, gaining wisdom, and having more responsibilities. We also discussed the negative side of aging such as going through puberty, dealing with acne, growth spurts, voices cracking, and feelings of insecurities.

Together we read the poem “At the Age Of 18: Ode to Girls Of Color” by Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. In her poem Gorman describes different stages of her life where she faced discrimination due to darker complexion. At age 5 Gorman observes that unlike flowers, black girls are not embraced for their vibrant colors. Our color makes hands pull back/and we left to grow alone/stretching our petals to a dry sun. At age 12 she compares color to bright poisonous snake and spiders, often stereotyped as being dangerous. Yet at age 18 Gorman undergoes a transformation, now that she is older, she is comfortable in her own skin and learns to love her unique beauty. A girl of color is a light house/ an ultraviolet ray of power, potential and promise.

Inspired by Amanda Gorman, students created their own autobiographical poems, describing their journeys of growth and change. Please enjoy this week’s published poems.



Mrs. Thomas’s 8th Grade
Group 1


Age Differences
By Crystal C.

“AGE” how do we change?
I change a lot of things, for example
my favorite color, how to look, behavior
how do you change your BEHAVIOR…
Well, when I was younger, I know all us
liked to run, play a lot of things
It changed me because now that I’m at the
age of 13, I don’t play anymore the way I use to
And things I like when I was little, unicorns,
the color pink
I think I’m scared of the word PINK
But age still matters and that’s going to be how
you’re going to act
Maybe now you don’t like to go out with your parents
anymore, that’s something natural that happens.
What about being shy and being the same as you were then
But remember age is important in somethings.


By Natalia R.

At age 6 everything was full of colors
At age 7 everybody was a sunshine to your life
At age 8 people needed you a lot
At age 9 it was still amazing

At age 10 was a WHOLE life changing when you hit double digits
At age 11 colors were down
Age of 12 staying in my room for a long time
Age of 13 wanting to be alone

When I realized AGE is just numbers that change almost everything


Age Limited By Law
By Landis V.

As a child your parents guide you and your happy.
There is so much to see and do; everything is
like a new adventure.
School seems like paradise where you get to see others.
You feel limited in what you can do. You wish you
could be older but that will change.

As a teen you feel you can do more and your parent’s
guidance is no longer needed and everything you do
is right and your happy about it. There is still a lot
more fun stuff to do.
The paradise you called school no longer was
the way it was when you were younger.
You feel less limited and you can do a lot
of stuff but you wish you were older.
But that will change.

Your parents no longer guide you.
You’re on your own, you no longer can ask
them for help if you get hurt.
You do almost everything your willing to
do.  Everyday feels like a blank copy of the
last.  You no longer go to school but your
stuck in a different place. A place school
prepared you for.
You’re only limited by the law.
But you miss the days when you were
young and ask yourself why did I
wish to be older.



Mrs. Thomas’s 8th Grade
Group 2


Age 13
By Alejandra B.

At the age of 5 everything was rainbows and sunshine
I though there was no such thing as danger besides
monsters and a scraped knee
I had all my stuff animals to help me fight the monsters
Darkness was the only evil I thought existed

At the age 9 I started to comprehend things more
I started to realize how the world really is
I realized how much danger there was
and having a phone made me realize how much
scarier it was
I still didn’t worry as much cause I didn’t know much

At the age of 13 I’m suddenly very paranoid of
going outside
I had never realized how much judgmental
people can be
I have never been more scared of society
Before I thought it would be easier to be all grown up
Now I want to become a child again
How the tables have turned


The Start Of Age
By Ingrid H.

The plain seed that was buried into the ground
Fed with rich water that poured upon me as I rest
Sitting alone as
I write the novel of my life as it unfolds before my
eyes living in my own little world; filled with ignorance
painted black and white
A small wild duckling, hopping and chirping
Unknown of the cruelty in the world

The world dropped as I rode the roller coaster I refer
to as life, so unexpected; chilling me to the bones
the cunning obstacles always come to ruin me
the ballroom dance of my life
Exciting to see but awaiting as the clock
Cinderella Twirling and Dancing with happiness
But not thinking of the consequences
the dinner awaiting down the hall
people buzzing with anticipation, hunger…
Longing and desiring for the old ways…
The ways in which we sleep as were being taken care of
But as we eat, the battery starts to drain…
Fulling our desire

This life is an open door
Waiting for you to come in and kill the cat…
only to be brought back by the satisfaction of our once
known curiosity…
Curiosity of the devastating world
Full of sadness and deep in void
with nothing left to feel


Cycle Of Life
By John Q.

My life as 5 was very much like an ocean
seems pretty calm once you first go into the water
but further you go down the scarier  it gets
you realize its not as calm as before and you want
to go back up…
Just as in the real world when we start growing up
We want to stay young and have the same mentality
that the world is
All peaceful and nobody has problems with each other
Well that’s what I though at the age of 5, so innocent
Yet so much to learn

At the age of 9 I started to realize more that Life
went in an never ending cycle
Being born just to live a not so peaceful life
A life being some type of a ride at an amusement park
Once you start the ride it gets excited but the more
you go through the ride the scarier and more stressful
it gets to continue
Sometimes all you want to do is to close your eyes
and go back to how it used to be

At the Age of 14
Realizing life will not always be filled with happiness
Sometimes it will be filled with suffering and stress…
But all you really need to do is look back to the days
Without stress or a care in the world
Life is a whole cycle or a Ferris Wheel
Waking up every morning in the same cycle of school
When will it stop
That’s a question of life that I have yet to answer
Born to live but at the same time to die
That’s why we need a mindset to guide us through life
A mind that could have found peace or suffering



Mrs. Thomas’s 8th Grade
Group 3


Age Color Changes Mood and Life
By Michael B.

Age 5
Life is yellow
Sun is yellow
Smiling Sun
All Happy
All shining
Happiness is a thing?
School is friendly
Life is encouraging
No judgement yet…

Age 9
Life is serious
Life is homework
Life is math
Hard like a rock
Life is more judgmental
More bullies
Life is green
Like grass
Mixed thoughts?

Age 14
Life is blue
Rain is blue
Rain being sad
All depressed
All reflection
Like a mirror
Is it a thing?
School is the enemy
Going against me
Bullies …
Judgement …
No friends
No one to talk to


Age 14 To A Young Kid
By Mauricio N.

At the age of 5
Every step we took was like planting a flower
All the time we saw light
We always saw color
We would always want to have fun

At the age of 9
We started to get judged
Life started to change
Life started to get a little boring
life starts to get challenging

Age 14
We start to get judge like a person on stage
We start to face body and facial changes
We start facing different emotions
We think that we are different
If we keep being judge later on
Suicide can get out of hand
Because of all the judgment


By Jocelyn V.

At age 5 life is colorful like the rainbows
Everyone is happy, real laughs and smiles
Toys are very fun
Bubble baths are super fun
I love to go to the park

At age 9 everything is kinda a bumpy road
I have some responsibilities
Like I have to fold my clothes
I have to wash the dishes
I have to do homework
Its just a little hard

At 13 life is just like a dark hole
There are new emotions
A lot of insecurities
Fake smiles, fake laughs, fake friends, fake everything
Life is hard and it will keep on getting hard



“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.