Sometimes you just have to stare
at the sky to let the wind blow ideas
into your head. If this fails,
remember the last time you went ice skating.
The slippery, shaky feeling of being on ice.
You fall, you get back up.

Think of what would happen if you were
surrounded by sharks in an ocean.
Think, think of what to do to escape.
Wish that you were sitting next to a
fountain throwing pennies, staring at
Honest Abe’s face. Start to think about
the President who tried to stop the spread of
slavery, African-Americans, mistreated, chained,
from Africa, home of the great safari,
animals, trying to take their territory.
Some of these animals are shipped to the zoo,
children holding cotton candy, pure sugar, the sugar
cane is its origin, plants that look like bamboo, which
brings luck. Speaking of luck, lay down, dream about
finding a four-leaf clover, meeting a leprechaun, finding
a rainbow, colors shining brightly. Follow me
rainbow to a pot of gold, like
the jewelry on your neck, glittering in
diamonds, found in coal.

I am reminded of soot in a chimney from the fireplace.
In the fire is wood from a tree which
I used to climb, branches shaded by
evergreen leaves. Paper is made from
trees, put into notebooks,
which you are supposed to fill with words right now.

Do you have any idea what you
will write? You cannot control the amount of
ideas in your head. You cannot control
frustration. You do not know how
to stop yourself from falling on the ice,
but you hold out your arms anyway.
You fall down
but keep skating.

Monique, 7th Grade
(photo by Kira Girl via Flickr

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