what an odd maker of saints
your halo brings death
I am thankful here
Where I am, standing strong and firm
It is here where I will grow my roots
In the rich soil of gratefulness
My hands may they sprout kindness
May they be fruitful and plenty
To help others plant their roots here
No matter their ethnicity
I found a home in the garden of healthcare
So no matter the sun or rain or drought
I'll embrace you with my heart open wide
Because I'm a healthcare worker, and caring is what it is all about.
I’m a black young lady
Will you shoot me
If I walk the streets?
Will you shoot me
If I go shopping?
Will you shoot me
If I am driving?
What did I do?
What was the reason
To kill my people?
If I put my hands up
And obey your orders
Will you still shoot me?
Even if I have a brush in my hand,
Which is NOT a weapon?
Just kept saying
“I can’t breath!”
Sat in her car
Was just driving
All these people dying
In the hands of the boys in blue.
I don’t get it.
Aren’t you guys here to protect us too?!
Why is this happening?
Was supposed to end.
Are just to
Get our voice heard
But you guys
Just cover your ears
Like our voices
And plead for you to stop
Killing the ones
Who do not
Deserve to die
But why should we try
If all you do
And point a gun
Let us live
Let us live freely.
From the cries of a black young lady
I've always wanted to stay home from school,
I'm required to now, because we're in the middle of a world-wide pandemic,
Before this virus happened, I'd never even heard that word,
I guess you could say I'm not much of an academic.
Now, the entire world is suffering from COVID-19,
People are staying home all over H-town,
We've all been asked to self-quarantine,
To stay safe during our global lock-down.
We're all having to cover our faces with masks,
We're all now constantly washing our hands,
The government sent out stimulus checks,
To help families with financial demands.
Extracurricular activities have all stopped,
There's no theater or sports of any type,
So, instead of swimming during swim team practices,
I'm doing push-ups and running in place using Skype.
My parents now work from home,
They sit all day on conferences and Zoom meetings,
Everyone in my family needs bigger clothes,
Because of our scheduled and unscheduled eatings.
Even though I like being home in my pajamas,
I'm actually starting to get concerned about my grades,
My parents are so busy with their own work,
My hope of passing my classes, each day slowly fades.
I've never been great at schoolwork,
Now, I have to do everything online using my computer,
I'm not allowed to be around anyone else,
Not even my excellent, and very well-paid tutor.
My mom says she doesn't know how to help me,
Because my assignments are way above her,
I'm simply getting so far behind now,
That I'm worried there's no way for my grades to recover.
So, if anyone wants my opinion,
I'll tell them I'm not a fan of remote learning,
I think online school doesn't work for me,
In fact, I think I've done more unlearning than learning.
I'm lucky that during this pandemic,
I've been fortunate enough to have a great teacher,
Who's helped me each and every time,
I took the time to reach out and reach her.
But, I'm ready for this virus to go away,
Online school has caused me to feel so much dumber,
I simply cannot wait for this year to end,
I wonder how many more days it is until summer!
By Tiffani Jaqua
Counselor, The Woodlands High School
Hope in the Time of Covid-19
Mixed media collage
at last we are proved to be human
oh impervious self
you're eating crow now
you hid within your social media
suit of armor until even that
couldn't protect you
the test is true and unexpected
see how long you can get along
Netflix and Facebook groups
and something called ZOOM
little umbilicals to the mother ship
small smoke signals to the tribe
to tell them what you had for lunch
to lounge quarterback the plays
the big dogs make--tell them
where they screwed up
spread gossip's gospel
about how you're impervious
if you drank from a water hose
as a child, tell others they look
stupid in their masks...though you
don't leave the house, not because
you're afraid...it's just what you prefer to do
HEB's just made a delivery
crow is somewhat more palatable
My list: my son smelling the flowers, my husband doing all the grocery shopping for us, the breeze gentle on my face, my son’s constant curiosity, my ability to work from home and still get paid, a spontaneous Face Time with a friend I needed to catch up with, our house that holds our lives, the work-out DVD that keeps me active and ramping up my immune system just in case, my son using toy maracas as weights to do the workout after me, the fact that we have toilet paper despite hoarders, the squirrels scurrying up and down trees in our backyard, the smile and wave of the garbage man who drove by during our walk this morning, knowing my parents are safe even though it breaks my heart not to give them a hug in person, the Talenti gelato my husband bought me, the books that allow me to escape the Coronavirus chaos (including yours!) if only for a little bit, my son singing lullabies to me and himself because allergies have temporarily stolen my voice, my siblings who have kept in touch from afar, my adorable almost-four-month-old nephew who is healthy and growing every day, the retail workers who make it possible to keep up with groceries, a movie night at home with my husband, the opportunity to reflect on all these amazing things when anxiety about the unknown blinds me to them. #HOUShelterInHope