In Ms. Budzelin’s 8th grade class, we read Eve Ewing’s “Four Boys on Ellis [a re-telling],” in which Ewing creates a new, magical, and freeing ending for an instance of racism. We had a powerful conversation about the ability of poetry to actually make change. We also discussed how we can show the work our poem is doing through its form. We wrote our own poems about events we would want to change.
The day has come and the sun is rising
The savages can be seen on the horizon
We’ve heard the prophecies of disease and bloodshed
Of how they would attack, little to not said
They came ashore, demanded for ore
Tried to force us to be enslaved aboard
When I get in severe trouble
When I get in severe trouble for something I did not do, how my heart felt like it was as fast as the motor of a tractor going on 1,000 MPH. I wish I could have explained how anyone else could have done it, but the risk of it being considered a lie was as high up as the empire state. If only what I got in trouble for was as overflowing as the ocean and no one would bother to share, make houses, and even art it to make a perfect society.