The Art of Revision

All the best poets know that the real poetry comes with revision. So it felt fitting that for our halfway point, Waters poets revised old or recently-written poems. First we talked about food, and I posed the following question: if you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

We took a look at original and final draft versions of the poem Perder by José Olivarez. Then students took revision into their own hands. Enjoy the poems below!

Ms. Smallwood’s 6th Grade Class

I am a vegetarian – my last meal (final draft)
by Avery W. 

for my last meal I’d like a cheeseburger with fries
and a chocolate shake on the side.
Red velvet cake like lace on my tongue, taste buds floating like
a grilled cheese with tomato soup and chocolate strawberries.
an acai bowl with fruit and nuts, and a kinder bueno 

for my last meal I’d like to have something that I
never eat, maybe even beef, pork, or meat charcuterie. 

I’m a vegetarian (first draft)

for my last meal I’d have a cheeseburger with fries
and a shake on the side, Red velvet cake like lace on
my tastebuds, dancing throughout my mouth.
a grilled cheese with tomato soup and chocolate
strawberries. mAn acai bowl and kinder bueno chocolate
bar for me. for my last meal I’d have something I 
never eat, maybe even beef, meat, or

Meal Poem
by Dee








My Last Meal (final draft)
by Theda S.

I would have the biggest feast ever like every king and queen did.
Sausage with cheese inside.
Steak imported from Florence
Bacon wrapped dates that have the best honey on them
Lobster with butter sauce
A trenta pink drink at starbucks. with cold foam like whip cream.
Sushi that is so good it’s hard to stop eating them.
Brownies with chocolate spilling out in the middle.
Ice cream cake that tastes like cookie dough.
Pickle treats with ham and cream treats.
Trader Joe’s Takis with extra spice.
Some chocolate pretzels that are really salty.
Gnocchi with pesto from Italy
Really juicy mango that is the perfect yellow-orange color.
Bao buns with pork inside.
Finally a piece of gum to top it off. 

Where I am From (final draft)
by Alexa B.

I am from card
Games like Rummy, Solitaire, and Oh H*ll
I am from my home filled with the smell of stinky boys and feet.
I am from Jesse and Chris
and the rest of my family, even those younger than me.
I am from my books, the characters, my friends.
From baked potatoes and chili.

From spaghetti and routine beef soup
From tacos and Turkey burgers
I am from my friends
who always make me laugh
I am from the dreams of pointe shoes and a home run
The dreams I get closer to each day.
I am from my teachers
Who teach me about life as well as subjects
Most of all 
I am from myself
As I grow and change each day.

Ms. Hooper’s 6th Grade Class

Mis Comidas Favoritas (final draft)
by Enyer

Me gusta el ponque de chocolate
y tambien las arepas de queso y jamon
y pollo con arros y ensalada
y tambien en salada de vejetales


un perro caliente
y hamburguesas
y pizza
y nuggets
y tambien papas fritas con salsa roja

dream dinners (final draft)
by Milo M.

Ramen with bouillon paste
cookies and cream pies

and wonderful cakes
my mama’s saffron blend
cheddar bay biscuits
my dad’s soup

Christmas meatballs
meatloaf + salad 

french fries + burgers

chicken strips on the side

but i don’t need any of
what really matters

is eating with my family.

Seafood Paella (final draft) 
by Brennan H.

Clams, Mussels
All my favorite delights
Straight from the Spanish Oceans.
Eaten with my family once
The descriptive words on the menu
I immediately fell in love with.
You can smell the ocean and salt
on the food.
I felt like I was just where I wanted to be.
With my family 

Where the basic girls at? (final draft)
by Lela S.

Grasping my Stanley I walk to
my friends. dressed with athleta
and lululemon. secrets start
to spread. sephora makeup caked

Where the basic girls at? (first draft)

As I walk in a room, grasping
my Stanley. I walk to my friends,
who are decked with lululemon
and Stanleys of their own. We gossip,
and gossip. I can see the makeup
from Sephora caked on their face.

Mr. D’s 6th Grade Class

Last Meal, (final draft)
by Reeve S.

My last meal,
french fries, lots of fries, with a burger,
a prize of tater tots,
with mint chip ice cream,
many M&Ms, any drink,
my friends around,
I am happy.
My last meal. 

Dream Meal – Last Meal (first draft)

My last meal
french fries, burger, lots of fries
have a prize of tater tots.
lots of mint chip ice cream,
m&ms, cookies, and more.
My last meal

Dream Meal (final draft)
by Nathan B. 

smelling the pizza
the smooth ranch for the wings
the melting cheese of the mozzarella sticks
like paradise in my mouth 

The Grape™ (final draft)
by Michael D.

My last meal
a grape
So small and round
But so big and juiced-up
staring at me with its googly eyes
I ate him with one bite
Licking all the liquid
So juicy, Mmmm
I loved the grape
but it was juicy
And that’s how I clapped a grape

Potbelly (final draft)
by Silas A.

If I had only one meal
I wouldn’t pick something crazy
I wouldn’t pick something huge
All I would pick
is an Italian from Potbelly

I’d maybe add a bit more 
such as salt and vinegar chips
and maybe a large fry
and it better be from McDonald’s

I’d also love some grapes
and some sausage too
and even some bacon
and now I’m hungry for food



“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.