‘The Whee-who/ The waves/ The quiet/ The stir/ Wow.’: Poems on Age and Reflection

Students read and discussed Billy Collin’s poem, ‘On Turning Ten,’ before writing their own poems on the subject of age and nostalgia.

Lesson Note: When you put something out there onto a piece of paper, what you’ve actually done is taken something out of your head and enabled you to look at yourself. And that takes you beyond feeling satisfied; it takes you into a kind of serenity. And it may not last, but as you do that moment of looking, there is a kind of peace that comes to you.”-– Michael Rosen, ‘Creativity is…’ Podcast

Mrs. McClain, 7th Grade

Finally 12
by Margaret M.

aging is such a marvelous thing to
when it happens to someone else
the years go by too quickly to look back and
really think to yourself that was me

at age five, I discovered the world as a
stingray would discover the water of
mystery, blossoming into opinion and interest

when nine rolled around, I was as confused as
ever–wait, so what makes people an adult?
am I an adult? Expressing myself through
chockers and braces

little did I know that at twelve, I fell
able and independent to surround myself
with people I can still discover with
I have found myself with people who I can still discover with
I have found myself, who I am, my identify
and when I look back at my years, I
cringe, but I wouldn’t change a single

I can’t wait to cringe at myself at

12 and Under
by Jayden V.

I was in the army at 5.
My little old self was faster than 5
rocketship’s speeds combined
My homework was no less then
learning to pronounce college-like words.
Nothing could stop me if I put
a simple bandaid on.

9 years and everything is so easy
I believed it was so easy I could
get to college with no trouble-
spelling exams and math quizzes
were a piece of cake
my report card screamed at
AAAAA. Feeling like a king.

Now I can’t seem to figure out
the problems.
My progress reports signed. BaBa
Black Sheep but onl8i wth BaBa
These complex college words were
actually, 2nd grade words now I have
to learn to actually know these words
Pain is cured with medicine and pills now; no more kisses or band-aids.

Mrs. McClain, 8th Grade

Over the Years
by Zoe M.

At 5 I was a singer
now I only speak
At 6 I was an artist
now I paint with highlighter ink
At 7 I would swim
At 8 I would dance
Now I walk from place to place
no twirl in my step
Though childhood is not over
Adulthood feels so near
For all my old habits have slowly disappeared.

by Joaquin N.

At age 5, I was talking
and walking around our apartment
I was playing Skate Three on PS3
I would sleep in my parent’s bed
I had 2 brothers living in our apartment

At the age of 9 I was in school doing work
I would socialize at school
I still played Skate 3 on PS3
Still had 2 brothers living in the apartment
Now I’m getting ready for high school
I still play Skate 3
Waiting for Skate 4
I have a phone
and talk to people on the internet
Now only one brother lives in our house.

Mrs. McClain, 8th Grade

Age 14
by Max S.

At age 5, I ate dirt and
By age 5, I lost intelligence
and burned stuff
at 7, I made potions
Bu 8 I gave up on education
At 9, I started going out
At 10, I dabbled in Witch Craft
at 12, my hair was gone
Now I don’t sleep
Now, I don’t come home often
Now I do talk to my family

Growing Up
by Harper M.

At age five, I would switch from
bed to bed, mom, dad to brother
Seems like only yesterday
I would fall asleep at 8 at the latest

Years five through eight were great
Playing outside with neighbors
Walking to school with my mom.

I had a spark.
Then nine. Nine was fine
Until ten, when I was ten
I wanted to turn eleven
Then eleven wanted to turn…

No. I didn’t want to turn twelve
but I did
Growing up is strange because I
with to go back and tell myself to stay little.

Then things started to change
there was no switching rooms, being in bed by 8
I walked to school on my own.
Growing up.

Mrs. McClaine, 7th Grade

Age 12
by Isaiah C.

At 5 I started to
play with toys.
I went to many toy
shops, since
I loved
I took a lot of
pictures, and
I went to school.
I was still numbed
to the

Age 8
Covid hit
at 9, I started
to play with fewer
Ived talked to more
people and started
to read books
I was still
numbed to

Age 12
I stopped reading books
covid had stopped
I stopped playing with toys
I then finally saw the
real world.

by Alban R.

When I was 5
I played with my trains
I had no worries
I was the king of the world
I listened to the sounds
The crunch
The crash
The drone
The whirl
When I was 9
I was a pirate
I drove race cars
I watched youtube
I listened to the sounds
The Whee-who
The waves
The quiet
the stir



“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.