I Am Waiting (after Lawrence Ferlingetti)
by Angel S.
I am waiting for a world without sorrow
Where I can be free
I am waiting for a home built on love
A life without grief
I am waiting for hearts of kindness
People who see me for me
I am waiting for an escape, a haven
A world built on the wings of butterflies
Somewhere for the outcasts, unknowns,
A place of joy
Built on love
I Wish for A Wonderland
by Angel S.
A wonderland made of the stories I was told as
A wonderland where adventures never end,
time stops when you have fun.
A world with Mad at the core, trees made
of books, stars during the day.
With animals that can talk and people that only
A wonderland where everyone is safe,
children’s dreams come true
Bring me to the world of stories, let me live
among the mad.
Let me wear what i want no matter how crazy,
Let me be curious without a consequence, let
me be absolutely bonkers.
Let me live in my fantasy.
Let me live in my wonderland.
A Day in the Life of an MLB Player
by Philip N.
He is sitting in the dugout, thinking of how he got there. He was five years old when he went to his first major league game. He remembers how amazed he was by how big the field was; how fast the players threw the ball, and how accurately; how far the home runs went; how fast the players ran the base paths.
Now, he is making his official rookie debut. He’s a bit nervous, a bit cold–it’s 55 degrees in Los Angeles. Having advanced through the minors quickly, he finds himself, somehow, playing in his first MLB game. He hears the announcer: “And now, making his major league debut for your Los Angeles Angels in this 2030 season, Philip Naberhaus!”
Emerging from the dugout, he sees Mom and Dad in the stands, looking both proud and anxious in seats 67 and 68, just behind third base. He remembers Mom’s lighthearted complaints when he was a kid playing weekend tournaments in the summer heat. But she never missed a game. He remembers his dad’s shouts of encouragement from the sidelines. Dad was Philip’s biggest fan. Both of his parents had sacrificed so that Philip could achieve his baseball dream. But they say it was worth it.
Top of the first. Philip is in left and José Altuve is next up to bat. He approaches the plate unhurriedly, wearing a crisp Astros uniform. After working the count full, Altuve swings and Philip hears the bat shatter. He dives for the ball, and . . . what a catch for the second out! Shohei Ohtani, the Angles’ starting pitcher and Philip’s childhood idol, strikes out the next batter. Three up and three down.
Time to bat. Philip is batting fifth in the order, ahead of Anthony Rendon. It’s his turn to bat after two outs and with runners on second and third. Being a switch hitter, he is the one who chooses whether to bat left or right. Since the Astros pitcher is a lefty, Philip decides to bat right. On the first pitch, he takes the first swing of his major league career. He hears the crack of his bat; he’s hit a bit under the ball, but otherwise he’s made good contact. The ball flies toward the 396’ sign at center field, which, when he was little, looked unimaginably far away from home plate. Now it actually seems pretty close. Philip is running down the first base line, thinking, Please don’t rob it, please don’t rob it, please don’t rob it . . . . Robbed! That was so close to being over! he thinks. I’ll get it next time. Which is what his Little League coach taught him to think when a play didn’t go the way he wanted it to.
Later, in the second inning, he stands in right field thinking of how much baseball has changed over the years: from the crazy era of the Coronavirus and the sticky stuff controversy to when they added robot umpires to now, when teams try to hack the robots. Back when the pitchers were all using sticky substances, the mound was ten inches high. That’s crazy! he thinks. When he stood on a ten-inch mound at practice the other day, he felt like he was on top of a skyscraper.
The mound is now at eight inches. Also, he always hated the sticky stuff. The fact that pitchers were cheating like that was just absurd. He laughed out loud when the first sticky substance ejection happened. That’s what you get! he thought. On the other hand, Philip was very excited when the robot umpires were introduced, back when he was in the minors. Finally, no more bad umpire calls, no more arguing about calls, no more ejections when the coaches got angry. Philip remembers when he was in Little League and his coach said, “Wait ‘til the day they start using robot umpires. Teams will try to hack them–that’s how desperate some people are to win.”
“Inning number three is here,” the announcer says. Philip is now at third. He is thinking about his college coach, who always told him that if he loses his focus, he will lose the game. Philip thinks, Runner on first. If it comes to me, I need to throw to second and then get back to third in case of an error. Another bat breaks; this one he can tell is ash. The ground ball comes right to Philip. He remembers his college coach saying, “Relax and just make the play. If you think too much about it, you will mess up.” Philip makes an excellent play, and his teammates David Fletcher and Jared Walsh turn the double play to end the inning.
The crowd goes wild. How many people are in the stands? Philip wonders. Too many to mess up in front of. Glad I got that right!
Philip had not gone to the plate in the second inning and did not bat in the third either because his teammates kept striking out. He did get to bat in the fourth, but struck out on what he thought was a bad call (but hey, who’s going to challenge a robot?). Ohtani, the Angels’ starting pitcher, also struck out the Astros’ batters, pitching five innings of no-hit baseball.
So it’s now the bottom of the fifth inning, and the score is still 0-0. Philip and his teammates are getting nervous. The Angels have managed to load the bases, but there are two outs. Philip is up to bat. No pressure! Don’t overthink it, Philip tells himself.
“Foul ball!” “Ball one!” “Ball two!” “Ball three!” “Strike two!” Philip remembers a time two months ago when he was in a similar situation, back in the minors, and he choked. He really didn’t want this to happen again because he wanted to break open the 0-0 game. But the opposing pitcher had been getting better and better all game.
A fastball comes right down the middle. Philip makes great contact, the ball flying off the center of his prized Marucci. He starts to jog to first base, knowing that if the ball stays fair, it will go over the wall. “Foul ball!” Philip says to himself, Wait on the ball. Do not pull it foul! Do not pull it foul! Do not pull it foul! With this final pitch, Philip waits until the ball is in the strike zone and hits it over the center fielder’s head, right at the 396’ sign again. The ball hits the wall! Philip starts his mad dash around the bases. He shapes his path like a banana, rounds first, and accelerates to top speed as he heads toward second. He shoots a glance at the third base coach and prepares to round second. Meanwhile, the left fielder scrambles for the ball and throws it in the direction of third base. But by the time the ball reaches the third baseman, Philip is a mere step from home plate. It’s an inside-the-park grand slam, only possible because of Philip’s mad sprinting skills, skills he got racing against his brother once he was able to outrun his dad. (He could always outrun Mom.) The next batter strikes out, but the damage has been done. The Angels are leading 4-0 going into the sixth.
Philip’s coach has decided to bring him in as relief pitcher. Philip is nervous, but excited. He strikes out the first batter on three pitches: fastball, fastball, change-up. Next up is Altuve. Earlier in the game, Altuve had reached third on a missed fly ball. Thankfully, he had not scored. Philip thinks about his strategy. He knows that Altuve, who is only 5’ 6”, is not good at hitting high pitches. (Philip is 6’3”.) Philip’s first pitch is a high fastball, which Altuve does not swing at, and it’s called a strike. Next, Philip throws another fastball, a little lower this time, and Altuve swings and fouls it off. Philip’s confidence is growing. For his third pitch, he goes with a high curve ball, which at the last moment unexpectedly arcs into the strike zone, baffling the Houston hitting legend. Altuve is out! The third batter is up. On the first pitch, he grounds out. Inning over.
Back in the dugout, Philip is excited, but he can’t ignore the pain in his shoulder, recalling that he had thrown about 300 practice pitches yesterday. He informs his coach about it, and the coach pulls Philip for the rest of the game, telling him that he had a great MLB debut.
That night, Philip heads off to bed, but not before watching a replay of the game on TV. Wow, I’m fast! he thinks.
A twelve-year-old Philip wakes up. It’s Summer 2021. “Wow, what a crazy dream!”
A Long List of Likes
by Ava S.
Bernese Mountain Dogs that cuddle up with you at night
Cats that are fluffy and cute
Dancing under the spotlight with love and compassion
Eggs and toast on a warm Sunday morning
Fabrics of my favorite clothes
Gardening with my mom on a warm summer day
Hanging out with friends
Ice and snow during Christmas time
Jimmies on an ice cream cone
Life that holds mysteries
Macaroni and cheese for dinner
Narwhals that remind me of my sister
Oceans filled with memories and wonder
Pop music that keeps me entertained
Quotes by inspiring people
Rocks filled with gems
Swans that look majestic
Treats that are sweet
Views from high places
Weird, wonderful books
by Ben G.
We are ignorant,
yet we watch, the sky, the sea,
an elaborate wonder.
to the music of the mist.
We wait, even if we know not what for.
We cannot decide; the possibilities have no end.
The story of our future is not yet told.
The shadows of our dreams
are cast upon our personality,
a record of our abstract expressions.
Our hearts ache, for a dream plagues us.
While the dark surrounds us,
together, we sleep through,
until the dream ends,
until the sun soars,
by Tenley C.
The warm touch of the sun.
The beautiful taste of a citrusy orange.
There is a chance that you will find darkness,
but with happiness, there will be light.
The Museum Curator
by Addison S.
Echoing through the old brick house, the silence of the walls held secrets that I was pleading to know. I felt like I could almost hear the walls speak to me. Their voices bouncing back and forth in a quiet game of catch. I ran my hand down the jagged brick walls and imagined children trying to climb up without a father to tell them no. A child’s playful laughter ringing in my ears.
Outside, I ran my hands through garden dirt. I imagined their lives through my hands. I touched the sunken-in rotting wood and envisioned it being pounded into the ground by someone’s husband. His wife wanted a beautiful garden to plant flowers in while he was away at war. The broken pieces of glass and hand-painted pottery shards gave me a window to look into their life. I spent my nights dreaming of new exhibits, my days sifting through the foundations of old homes and my evenings sitting with a cup of tea, telling my husband stories of what new things I discovered each day.
The Man in the Mask
by Alexandra B.
I had seen this man many places on the street, in my favorite cafe, at the movies, when I was out with my friends. I thought it was a coincidence. But it started to happen more and more often, like every time I went out. I didn’t want to tell anybody. I was afraid that they would think I was crazy. I saw him again. This time on the subway but I was sitting five seats away. Every time I saw him he would get closer and closer. Suddenly, the train stopped moving and the lights went out. I could feel someone’s body get closer to mine. I felt someone grab a hold of my wrist with a warm, rough, firm hand. I felt the vibration of heavy things fall to the ground. Just then, I felt something cool, metal and circular being pressed into my forehead. The emergency lights flickered on. Everyone else on the train had disappeared and the man with a mask was six inches away holding a Glock 19 to my head and staring me right in the eyes. He had forest green eyes, long eyelashes, and pale smooth skin. I heard something loud and felt my bones hit the floor. I heard a scream and I was laying in something wet and slightly warm leaking down from my shoulders to my stomach, to my knees. I felt paralyzed. Couldn’t move. I heard steps walking away but couldn’t see anymore. I could only smell and hear and taste. I tasted a sour thick liquid that leaked into my mouth as it hung open. I wasn’t sure if the man with the mask was still there. I stopped tasting the liquid as I felt my lungs fill up. I was drowning in my own blood. I lost my taste. I lost my ability to feel anything physically. I was trapped in my own body, only able to hear. I was gone.