Stories from the Body

This week at Shoesmith we explored poetry all about the body. Many poets in the past have written about the human body’s beauty, flaws, and capabilities. Together we listened to the poem “Hands” by renowned spoken word poet Sarah Kay. Spoken word poetry is a performance art form that contains elements of oral storytelling, music, and theater. In her poem Sarah Kay uses her hands as symbols to represent her close relationship with her father, her views on the world, and memories. “Some people read palms to tell you your future, but I read hands to tell your past. Each scar makes a story worth telling.”

Inspired by Sarah Kay, students chose different parts of their body to tell a story from their pasts. They incorporated aspects of spoken word: repetition, rhythm, and wordplay to share significant memories. Enjoy this week’s published poems.



                                         Ms. Wesson’s 5th Grade
                                                          Group 1


My Ears
Matthew B.

My father always says, “You have great ears.”
When we make beats on the computer,
I hear everything in the mix. My ears allow
me to hear the music.

But a lot of people say, “Your ears have made you
make bad music.” But my ears have made me
make a lot of beats, hear my family’s words,
and allow me to listen to music on sad days.

Ears connect others by their words.
Now that I have gotten better with music,
people now say, “You should be a producer.”


My Brain
London R.

My brain is big because its filled with knowledge.
I went to my cousins and said, “Aren’t I smart?”
They said, “Not at all.” But I didn’t let that get
me down.

I remember when my class had a test. I got a
100%. I got A’s on my report card, at least
one  B, sometimes all A’s as you can see.

I know my multiplication facts. 12×12 = 144.
Easy as 1,2,3. I listen in class.

I remember doing the NWEA and getting a 243
in Math. Going down, was hard for me. But it
encouraged me to try harder.

My brain helps me remember where everything
is. I even remember what happened on my third

I remember going up to my mom and asking,
“Am I smart?” And she said, “Of course you
are. You get all A’s and B’s and remember
old things. And I was so happy as you can


My Legs
Iyanna W.

I have loved my legs ever since I was
four years old. I love to dance and do
gymnastics. My legs have played a big
role in doing those things. I use my legs
to walk, jump, climb, run and much more.
I got my dancing background from my mom,
nana, great grandmother, and my aunties.
The generation goes on and on.
I want to be a dancer when I grow up
and start a dancing business. I also want
to have a gymnastics business.
Without my legs, my life would not be
the same. Thank you, legs. I would not
have come this far without you.



                                    Ms. Wesson’s 5th Grade
                                                    Group 2


My Hands
Jonah C.

People say, “Your hands are softer than a pillow.”
Thank you, hands for all the shots in basketball
and catches in football. Thank you for all the
correct answers on test and class assignments.

Thank you for all the kills in Fortnite.
All the hugs, high fives, and secret

Thank you, hands for helping me climb.
Thank you, hands for letting me have fun.
Thank you, hands for my fingers longer
than trees.


Bad Eyes = Good Eyes
Terron R.

My eyes are bad.
I’ve seen killings and gang signs.
I’ve seen blood a million times.
But when I look at the light of God,
I see a child brown as a coconut.
Then I suddenly forget about bad
things. I see cupcakes, rainbows,
and my six beautiful future children.


My Stomach
Magnolia T.

People say, “Your stomach is too big.”
But my big cakey stomach has eaten
the best food, has been many places,
has been made fun of, has been to
Africa, has lost the most friends,
and has gained a lot of weight.

But at the end of the day. I am perfect
just the way I am.



                                          Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
                                                         Group 1


Christina’s Mouth
Christina A.

I remember when my mouth helped me
calm someone down, “It’s going to be Ok.”
Or kept me hydrated when I’m in the kitchen,
“Gulp, Gulp, Gulp, Ahh…good juice.

With my mouth, I always go to auditions
and sing to the judges. Or sing a melody
in a choir.

My mouth helps me breathe in cold air
and taste hot cookies.

My mouth helps me, except when my mom
says, “You talk too much,” or “Whisper we’re
in a library.” I talk a lot at home but I’m
very quiet at school.

My mouth helps me laugh and taste.
My mouth helps me out a lot.


My Favorable Legs
Gaida P.

My dance teacher always told me, “With my
lessons you’ll be pointing your feet and not
even notice.” There’s always changes in my
life, but my legs have stayed with me through
it all.

When I changed schools 2-3 times, my legs
stuck with me. My leaps were on point
as always, but I can’t take credit. Running
from Alex’s dog got them strong.

Papa tells me, “The bees would get them
made long.” Wrestling with coach made
my legs brave. My Daddy had child locks
on the door, my legs as fast as his Harley.
My Auntie says, I’m a powerful black

I believe the memories are all correct,
some smarter than the rest. But my legs
can outrun a K-9 police dog. So, I’ve my
own quote for this poem, “I’ve got powerful,
fast, dancing, jumping, running legs.”


Elycia Arm’s
Elycia R.

People used to always ask, “What happened
to your arms?” and “Who hurt you?” I usually
say, “Oh! I burnt myself,” or “My cousin pushed
me off a bike,” or I was fighting,” or “I broke my
arm.” But my scars do not define me.

My scars are beautiful. They bring back
precious memories. My arms help me
prosper my dreams. My arms help me
rock my baby sister to sleep. Without
my arms I wouldn’t have hands!

People now tell me, “You’ve been through
so much,” and I say, “No my arms have been
through so much.” I broke my arm when I
was younger, but that didn’t break me. I have
scars, but I’m not scared.



                                           Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
                                                          Group 2


My Long Legs
Celiyah B.

People say, “Your legs are too long,”
But I had so many adventures with my legs.
I have jumped rope, played basketball,
football, dance, you name it. I have my legs
to walk on every single day.

My legs are the reason I can do sports.
My legs are beautiful. I love my legs,
even though I have a scar from running

With my legs I can reach to get something
from the top cabinet. I love to go to the
store to but some clothes for my legs.

Now people say, “You can do anything
with your long legs!”


Javaris’ Hands
Javaris G.

Mama tells me, “Stop biting your nails.”
But my hands always have to be moving.
My hands do so many things.
Like when my hands touch a basketball
that has been passed to me as I’m running
down the court. I feel the cool leather and
can’t to put it in the net.

Like when my hands catch a football
and I run to make a touchdown.
Like when my mom tells me to take
the dog on a walk and I tried to play
dumb by saying, “How is he going
to go down the stairs?” and she says,
“Pick him up with your hands!”

Like when I put my hands on my
controller when I play the game.
My hands are silky to the touch.
My hands move like a wave.


Rhyder’s Eyes
Rhyder T.

People use to tell me that my eyes weren’t
good enough, because I wore glasses.
But my eyes where there on my first day
of school, when I made friends.
They were there when my mom bought
me my first grayish-silver tablet.
My eyes were there when I got my first
phone, it was rose-gold. I felt excited and
grown up. My eyes where there when I
was born and saw my mom’s face for the
first time. When I was potty trained. I see
my memories all the time in a photo album.

Now people say, “Those glasses are so you.”
My eyes make me who I am.



“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.