Retellings (8th)

This week, in 8th grade, we read one of Eve L Ewing’s “Retellings.” We discussed the role of poetry in standing up to injustice and the ways that poetry can help us imagine different futures and different worlds. The students wrote powerful poems, thinking about injustices they care about.


They stare at my hijab
and they laugh with their eyes
But what is there to hide?
Other than our silent cries?

Our hair is covered
yet they still judge
the beauty that never
unfolds for anyone.

My teacher may treat me differently
but nothing would budge
I will wear this veil
until the day I die.

Whatever these people say,
it slips one ear to another.
But when the time comes,
my ears will laugh at their faces.

What are you to me?
You are nothing but a
grape in a farm.
You laugh at your

dreams. My hijab is a
state of superiority to
your darkened eyes,
so stare all you want
as light fills your eyes.

Free Palestine

When I open my eyes,
there is war.
When I close my eyes,
there is a free Palestine.
If only it ever existed
then things could be quite the same.

When I open my eyes,
I only feel my hunger.
When I close my eyes,
me and my siblings are enjoying a meal.
If only things were that easy for me
I would be the happiest girl in the world.

When I close my eyes,
there are lifeless bodies on the ground
When I close my eyes,
there are people happily roaming free.
The sad reality of my home
A place where happiness is gone.

And the only day when the happiness will return
Is the day I hear “Palestine Free” at last.

School Night

We go to school
certain hours
of sleep.
We learn and talk
but all that
for what.
We learn the same
things just a
little harder
every year.
We go to this
place where grades
get the chance
to define our ranks.
We hear we listen
we stay silent.
Topics we already discussed.
It’s getting tiring.
I learn and learn
but all for what, if
I’m driven in
madness every school
Then we repeat
every day to night.
If only they listened.
If only they could

It’s a Girl

The yeslls
the screams
of the mother
in pain.

The broken
brick walls.
And shattered

She can’t go
to a hospital.
That would be
too much money.

So the mother
suffers and cries
in her
broken home.

But then she imagines more.
Herself in that hospital bed,
able to hold her baby.

The white clothes doctor
gives her the medication.
And she is able to hold her baby.

Skin to skin
chest to chest
the mother in the broken home
finally gets to hear “It’s a girl.”



“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.