Memorable Places

For their fourth virtual poetry lesson Haugan Elementary 8th graders explored some of their favorite places they had visited in the past. Due to COVID-19 we can’t travel to certain places that we use to enjoy. Faraway places such as Cuba, France, Singapore. But also places in our own city of Chicago such as Millennium Park, Macy’s, and the Olive Garden. One student stated how we have taken these places for granted.

Together students read the poem “Eddie Priest’s Barbershop and Notary,” by Kevin Young. The speaker of the poem, a costumer waiting to get his hair cut, observes the activity at the barbershop. The turning of rusty fans/ steel flowers with cold breezes/the tended heads of sons/fresh from cornrows/is a mother gathering hair for good luck/ a soft wig/the sting of wintergreen tonic on the neck of a sleeping snow haired man. Young incorporates the senses of sight, sound, and touch to bring Eddie’s Barbershop to life and readers feel as if they too are part of this vibrant community.

Inspired by Kevin Young, students relive their memories of places through their senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste). Please enjoy this week’s published poems.


Mrs. Thomas’s 8th Grade
Group 1


Movie Theatre
By Camila P.

Not even     waking into the theater   I could see     the long line    from
the entrance
I’ve made a lot         of memories here… Had my first date here      very
awkward first time I went with friends    was on January     18 2020
The people       are trying to be quiet         and watch the movie but      me and
my friends are laughing    The people       in the theater       despise us    Wanting
us to be quiet       They look     mad       The sounds        of people mumbling
and the popcorn                                  crumbling  the smell   of popcorn  and tasting
the butter in it


Camp Joy
By Arizbel R.

Camp is one of those places you go
Just once a year
Everyone seems so happy
They don’t know that I feel
Joyful and happy
Smells like nature
Spending time with my best friend
Get time to play more in the outdoors
Like kickball and volleyball
Got hit by someone with a ping pong paddle
Cabins smell like wood
The last day I felt sad and wasn’t ready to leave
the camp and pack
A lot of memories at camp.


By Bryant V.

Home is the place I belong
Its loud, quiet, and everything in between
When I’m there, I feel trapped
because my parents won’t let me go out
Its boring but I still play with my dad’s phone
I take naps but
then mom wakes me up with a slap
to clean the house

My mom makes frijoles
and it’s annoying but it’s still good
But she does make them everyday
and when I leave home it’s sad
because outside it cold,
and I don’t want to be in the cold
and I don’t go outside because of the virus
I wish I could go outside if its hot
But I wish the virus would end too.


Mrs. Thomas’s 8th Grade
Group 2


Navy Pier
By Kevin C.

I could feel the fresh breeze
blowing against me
as I ran through the pier.
I smelled the clean blue water
from the Lake Michigan.
I could hear the white seagulls
flying over the pier, flapping their wings.
I tasted the sweet, salty
French fries at the McDonald’s restaurant.
I saw the tall Ferris wheel
standing 200 feet in the air.
I saw the people inside the Ferris wheel
looking out, enjoying the view of the
lake, Navy Pier and Chicago.


A City That Never Sleeps
By Carlos G.

New York, New York, the city that never sleeps.
The city of bustling streets, a city of curiosity.
My first adventure, so short, yet so unique.
Giant buildings, so colorful.
So abstract, yet so simple.
The sound of street performers, and the honks among cars.
A feeling so confusing and vibrant, walking around
the sidewalks, in a crowd.
Buildings so tall that it reaches the clouds.
Bigger than the sky itself.
Souvenirs, food, and music, and 100% New York.


Bing Bang Boom
By Carlos L.

Let’s go way back
to when times were easier and no Covid ofc
Guatemala place where all my people come from
Where my ancestors lived
Where I go to let myself go and think out of my mind
When I have time
I’m a busy man
Where we got a baby blue and white flag
What I represent
I’m Mexican too but you know
When my great grandma can to America
To represent our family in America
Where its free land in Guatemala
You run
You feel the air through your fingers
Let your skin feel the breeze in your hair
when it rains it sounds like drums
When there’s sun everyone is outside hanging
Mi Culturo
I’m happy to be part of the culturo I am
I get to speak Spanish with my peeps
And good plays
That’s Guatemala


Mrs. Thomas’s 8th Grade
Group 3


My Aunt’s Bread
By Darlin A.

“Come in,” they say. I feel the heat.
The warmth inside the room feels good.
I smell the bread, feels welcoming.
When we come in mother says, “Need help?”
I walk all the way to the leaving room.
The floor makes sounds like a mouse squeaking.

Seeing my little cousin running.
I’m excited to see my cousins.
“Hello,” I say, one of them says, “Want to play games”
The others say, “Ok.” Time goes fast.
My aunt taking out the bread says, “Let’s go eat.”
We go, I touch the bread so soft like a pillow.

It tastes amazing with tea or coffee.
It’s like all my problems go away.
This place feels like home, I’ve been here
since I was 7.

Every year I have bread and the food I like.
Sometimes I think this is my house.
But always respectful to others.


The Outside Memories
By Angel M.

*Sniff.* “Ahhhh…” The smell of nature, the sights
of dogs and deers.
The feeling of dog fur softer than clouds.
The taste of subway, the enchantment of taste
of fries from McDonald’s.
The sound of the meat sizzling on the grill.

The smell is as delightful and roses
And the taste
is like everything you could ever want for.
The memories
of hanging
The sounds of the movie theater jumps, scares…
the smell of pop corn popping in the machine *pop*

The feeling of the razor cutting your hair…
The sight of your hair falling, now all I see
is the mirror and my hair growing…
The horrible
feeling of just eating and eating 24/7 no exercise
Now…gyms and
restaurants are closed, no more parks
No real school
all online, no more seeing friends all due
to this Virus


By Christian D.

The smell of chlorine filled my nose
The sight         of the pools made me excited
And the rough, hot ground hurt my feet
But the        place I was at was amazing
The bucket was filling  and when full (splash) we were soaking wet
We went to our room     watching a movie and eating junk food
Pools filled people having fun    the person who had the least amount
was my      brother
“It hurts it hurts” he screamed and cried     but my parents told him
“you’ll be fine”      before    that
this is what we did
Back to the pool we went but then his leg began to bleed. This is
what happened next     We rushed to the hospital as he cried and cried
The doctor said “he could have died”    lucky we got there in time
if not I would not have an older brother now



“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.