While most of my writing students are adults, I enjoy teaching anyone who is sincerely interested in learning, no matter his or her age.
I recently had the privilege of working with a gifted fourteen-year-old, Ellen Drummonds, of Redlands, CA. She writes stories about young people in crisis. She also writes poetry. One of her poems touched me and I'd like to share it with you.
"In the Gloom"
It is pouring outside. My bones ache in the chill Of the early morning awakening. There is no sunrise. I hope there will be sunset, For the sky is gray and unfeeling.
It is as cold inside as it is outside; Maybe even colder, for a time. I look outside my bedroom window To find the rain blinds me, And what reason is there for sunshine?
Nothing to do but wait for flowers to bloom, And why must it take so long? I miss the sun but not the heat it creates, For it is dangerous to people who feel nothing anymore.
My hands are two reddened, dry carcasses. My legs are two sticks, prickly and forgotten. My eyes ache from too many nights reading away my nightmares. My smile has been dormant for some time now.
My soul beckons with unrelenting longing For just one moment of tranquility. I hurt every second of every day, And all I want to do is hide from the world.
What is the meaning of these fruitless days and endless nights? Who is to say that these are the best days of our lives? And when will I realize I don’t belong?
If someone has consolation for me, please come forward. My mind is quickly closing, and I am losing focus. I doubt that anyone knows how I’m feeling. How would you like to know that your heart will be forever empty? It is not a good piece of knowledge to have.
The rain continues, and my heart still bleeds, And I have no idea how it was wounded. I thought it healed so very long ago, But I soon realized the bandage was generic.