Hearing Our Names (8th)

Today in Ms. Krasic’s class, we read Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s poem “On Listening to My Teacher Take Attendance.” The students had incredible insights on the imagery she used and what she was able to express through simple objects like a pencil sharpener. We talked about people in our lives who say our names in ways that we love or ways that make us uncomfortable. A lot of us have people in our lives who say our names with a particular accent or in a particular language and we shared how special that can make us feel.



Selina and others



Selina. Selima. Samlia.

None are my name

but I’ve found that

they’ve become

a part of me


like white out

over words

upon a blank

piece of paper


As another soldier

falls against this name

I watch

in front of me

as more fumble

after him.


My Favorite Voice




she calls

I recognize that voice

I can always tell it apart from others

That specific calm voice that sounds

like us cuddling and watching movies


The specific voice which sounds like

us crying, and then busting out into

laughter together right after


The voice that brings me comfort smelling

like the fresh chocolate cake we baked



The voice that is always stuck

by my side forever


Her voice.


My Mother



When she says my name,

my heart blossoms into flowers.

She gives me this name

so I can feel loved.


And when she holds me

I smell the warm aroma

of food on her soft

and warm blouse


I see the image of me

getting fed soup by her.

I miss those times as I

can still hear. I can still hear


the laughter of her

and the soft wave of

her giggle that welcomes

itself to my ears.


And I can’t lie

that this is my mother

who is very dear to me

and I love her forever.



“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.