My City My City

After reading the classic poem “Chicago” by Carl Sandberg, the young poets from Waters Elementary wrote about their positive and negative experiences in the city of Chicago.


Abbie G.


Pigeons flock to the filthy streets

Snow falls at the end of March

One day it’s 70, the next it’s 30

This city is gross and dirty


Sun shines down on the glistening waters of Lake Michigan

The city is alive once again

It is summer time and the beaches are packed

The Bean downtown reflects smiling faces

Chicago is filled with many fun places


Kai C.


The city of Chicago is a city of diversity

Filled with various cultures and food

It is also a messy dangerous one

Where danger coats the cracked roads

And poverty and crime are common

I witness too often the poor miserable faces

Of once joyful people stricken down by poverty

Their pleas ignored by the brutal world


Charlie J.

Is our beauty really gone?

The centuries of smoke, of dust, of pollution

Cloud the sky

The fog can choke us

Keeps us from seeing the stars

Beautiful country sides and suburbs are what we wish to be

But here we stand, grey and ridden of green


Where is our beauty?

It is long since gone but is it really?

Our beauty is still inside of us

Living with the people

Our drive and determination

Our hopes

A city that doesn’t need the beauty

We are still strong

We are still living

We are still Chicago


Lucy L.


Struggling, springing, swerving, running, changing, moving

Like the wind of our name

The lake, like a big blue blanket over an invisible giant

Blue and rolling up and down into the clouds

Buildings growing tall as they reach for success

Coming closer to the skies as others struggling in the dust


Zach J.

Chicago a city full of hope and dreams

Yet not all come true

The filth and violence fill the streets

Smoke emissions

Babies crying

But look beyond all that

And you will find a wonderful city

With parks full of children

People socializing outside

Brightness everywhere

With birds chirping


Ruby N.


Sun over the lake

The traffic awakes

Sirens make the city shake

Late at night they gather ‘round

Seeing the Ferris wheel going with the quite sounds

Neighborhood swing makes the birds sing


Maxwell B. 


Chicago with its’ parks littered

Train cars vandalized and broken

Poor faces crying for help


But Chicago with its parks and trees and slides

Trains to ride

Faces laughing and helping


Keilly S. 


Chicago has Millennium Park, Chicago-style hot dogs, and the Bean

Chicago Some times has downsides to it

Like before the Chicago Fire

Sometimes it’s not safe to walk alone in some areas


Remus C. 


Windy, cloudy, humid, grey

Messy, sticky, crowded, noisy

Condos and penthouses everywhere

Cars and traffic galore


Bright, friendly, fun

Parks and fountains and theaters

Cafes and tea bars and restaurants

Friends and family



Michelle D. 


Chicago can be a negative place

Crime and danger

It can be a place with lack of shelter

And false hopes

With people of negative motives


But Chicago can also be a place with colors

And sounds and people and buildings and beauty

All kinds of accomplishments and people everywhere

It can be a place of hospitality and kindness


Frida C. 


The Windy City

Filled with diversity

Cold Winters

Hot summers

All of the seasons

Chicago is fun

It may be filled with gangs

But it will always be my home

Deep dish pizza, the Bean, Sears Tower, so much more

A big city that is my home


Darwin K. 


Trains rushing overhead

Cars are roaring, smells of bread

People talking, filled with pride

Others walking with a stride

Containing the energy until the sun falls

The night sets in

The energy dies

Peace, quiet. The world closes its’ eyes

I sit outside, thankful for the balance

For the moment of silence

In the sea of chaos and violence


Aria A. 


The grey clouds from cigarette smoke

The loud honk of car horns

Distracting you from its glowing sunsets

And the beautiful cold clear waters

The Sun hiding its extraordinary light from behind the growing clouds



Nicolas F.


When I hear Chicago, I hear honking

The wind howling

People begging for money for life

I hear shoes clacking along the bird infested sidewalks

I hear the train tumbling along the tracks

As if it is about to derail


When I hear the sirens of ambulances

Screaming by, I don’t think of danger

I think of people helping, trying to keep their city


When I see the lake, I don’t see a filthy infested stream

I think of life

I think of people having a good time with what they have


Natalia B.


When all the cold wind fades away

And the tourists flood the city

When summer has just begun

To go on all 200 stories of Sears Tower

And to take pictures against the Bean

When sunshine covers up all of our worries

And puts a smile on our face

So we can peacefully swim in the waters of Lake Michigan

But then the cold hits


And the tourists book their tickets to flee

Because they no longer enjoy Chicago

And wait for Summer to come again

Because not only is it winter now

But that joy has been stolen from us

Since the gunshots replace the laughter of summer

So which one outweighs the other?



“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.