Migration-inspired poems

Inspired by a poetry lesson by fellow poet-in-residence Joy Young, this week’s session centered around migration, journeys, and what we bring with us to make a new place feel like home. We read Wang Ping’s “Things We Carry on the Sea” and student poet Sadiya L.’s “Things I Carry from My Various Ancestry” and thought about the ways that sensory detail and repetition can expand our ideas of migration and journeying. Enjoy the following poems inspired by our discussions!


Miss Davis
Eighth Grade
Yellow Group


Things We Carry to a New House
By Teddiana H.

We carry sweat on our body: goodbye old house
We carry clothes in big bags
We carry dishes, books, memories of our old house, old beds
We carry backpacks on our back
We carry happy tears in our eyes
I carry myself in the car or moving truck


By Sarina H.

We carry all the stress on our backs, goodbye school

We carry our backpacks to and from school, goodbye shoulder pain

We carry all our books class to class, goodbye tiredness

I carried all that for too long

Goodbye school


Miss Davis
Eighth Grade
Red Group


Migration for getting over you
By Xavier A.

I carry the love and kindness I gave you
I carry my respect and loyalty to you
I carry the emotions and thoughts you made me have
I carry the feelings I had for you and burn them
I leave the memories of us so I don’t grieve or rethink this journey
I leave all the friends and places we discovered together

I’m doing this to forget about you
to only remember you as a time to learn and not a loss
The migration for getting over you


By Adrian G.

I’m going to Canada
I’m bringing my phone, my charger, my console, and my clothes
I’ve never been there before
I’m thinking that it’s gonna be a great time
I’ve seen it once on Google
I don’t carry my computer
I barely use it
Something that could be lost sometimes is my phone
I bet it’s going to be a great time
I heard they have the best maple syrup
I’m excited to try it.


I’ll bring fake tears too
By Mariana R.

Home to school
Comfort to not
Silence to not
Peace to not

I bring my backpack
and some patience
I bring my folder
and forced joy
I bring my pouch
and hidden irritation
I bring my pencil
and hidden anger

I bring a fake smile
I bring fake joy
A few more weeks
Home to high school


Things I carry from my siblings
By Daniella S.

I carry my brother’s humor
I carry my sister’s style
I carry my brother’s artistic skills
I carry my sister’s laugh
I carry my brother’s music taste
I carry my own attitude
My own musical talent
I carry all the memories I have with them
I carry them to keep me going


Miss Davis
Eighth Grade
Green Group


By Alex G.

The culture
The culture of my family’s past
The culture my grandpa and grandma bring
The culture of my grandpa descends from Lebanon
The culture of my grandma descends from Mexico
The culture is from a time of immigrants
But the culture lies with me


By Martin O.

We march
We move
We live
We love
We arrive
We unpack
We live
We love
We move
We march
We pack
We move
We arrive
We unpack
This is the way of life


By Genesis R.

Their feet had blisters
Their trip was long
Their desire was true
Their fight was desperate
Their enemy was strong
They were stronger
Their troops fought back
Their efforts were satisfied
Their enemy backed out
They won
Their exhausting trip was worth it



“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.