‘the/Girl with the maroon dress/And as she said yes…’: Narrative & Memory

This week’s lesson was sparked by Gary Soto’s wonderful poem ‘Oranges’ which details a pre-teen couple’s date on a cold December day.  This served as the class’s jumping off point to write their own Free Verse/Narrative/Memory poems. They were invited to use food as a memory or possibly a date. Here are some of the touching, funny and poignant works that emerged. Enjoy!


Mrs. Nazimek
8th Grade, 1st Period

Baby A.

I like popcorn because I remember when me and this sweet boy
took me on a date to the movies. And it went great and it
was fun because I seen a movie that I really wanted
to see. Also, he didn’t care about the prices and how much
he had to spend on me and it meant a lot to me because
I really loved this boy and thought eh was the one.

Jordan R.

Dates at the Purple Steer
and my dad said no beer.
When I was with her I
had no fear my mind
was open and clear
I knew she was near.
Her voice was sweet as
Prince Royce.

She’s Leaving
Nayla L.

The night of my 12 birthday my mom was in
the kitch she was making my favorite dish
rice and beans I knew something was
wrong because she had her loud music on
and the only time she had that music on
she told me she was leaving and wouldn’t come back.

I Like Pizza
Julian R.

One of my favorite foods.
My most fondest memory
with Pizza was summer
2012, Friday at midnight.
My cousins and my brother
came around that time.
My parents came back from
their night out, when they
got home they had bought
Little Caesar’s Pizza.
So me, my brother and my
cousins ate the pizza
until there was only one
slice left.

Mrs. Nazimek
8th Grade, 2nd Period

Robert H.

July 26, 2008
A hot sunny day
My family was having
a cook out, the smell
of smoke s the grill
is grilling the food,
My Mother places
a ‘taco’ onto my
Plate, as I take
a bite, I thought
I was in heaven.

Francisco P.

I would always get
tamales every Saturday
Eating the yummy
tamale from the
tamale man all
the time

Take Me Back
Arahi L.

Being Little, running around the house with my toys.
Screaming, yelling and being annoying.
Hearing my grandma open the door and smell fresh
This just adding to my happiness.
‘Settle down sweetheart,’ Grandma would say.
I just couldn’t, too excited for my culture’s food.
Take me back to the days where I’d have no
responsibilities and I was a young girl just
eating my tamales.

Sheltered Ice
Andrew R.

I was 13 when I
experience a real
heart break. I
was dating a girl
for a whole month,
when she told me
that we need time
apart. I was so
devastated that
I went to the
store and bought
3 buckets of
ice cream. Ice
cream was the
only thing that
didn’t betray me.
It took 6
days to finish all
3 buckets of ice
cream. Even ice cream
left me so I had
no one to lean on.
My best friend was
there and I wouldn’t
wish for a better

Mrs. Nazimek
8th Grade, 3rd Period

Gladys V.

Crimson red face as he asked the
Girl with the maroon dress
And as she said yes his hands
Became sweaty
They danced but as she stepped
Forward so did he
Stepping on her toe
She winced but said nothing
He apologized repeatedly
She merely smiled.

Alex S.

The first time I,
walked with a girl,
I was 12, I walked
to her house, I asked
her where she wanted
to go, she said Wendy’s
we walked to Wendy’s
and she ordered and
I pulled out a crisp
$20 bill, and we sat
down, as she ate I
watcher her and

Lizette A.

Turkey, Ham and Pie
for most it reminds them of Thanksgiving and good times
I am the exception
Screaming yelling and running
While I took a bite of turkey
Words of betrayal echoed the house
While I ate the ham
Slamming doors, car keys, and crying
while I ate the pie
Turkey, Ham and Pie
for most it reminds them of thanksgiving and good times

I am the exception.

Rueben R.

My best day in Mexico
Visiting my Grandma
On our way to the airport
We stop and grab food
At Polo Feliz
I ordered a 3 piece chicken
My Grandmother ordered a 2 piece
Little did I know
That was my last meal
With my grandmother
We drove to the airport
My last words were
‘Adios, Ita’
It wasn’t until four weeks
I got the heart breaking call
Three years ago, today.

Grandma’s Mac n’ Cheese
Caleb P.

I love mac n’ cheese because it reminds me of my Grandma
I’ve always loved her cooking since I was little
She makes delicious mac n’ cheese
Steaming and cheesy
Plopping it in a bowl
Reminds me of Holiday
s and family dinners
Oh so delicious
Grandmas’ mac n’ cheese.




“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.