Big Write 2016 Winners - Grades 9 to 12

We Get Through
by Armiya Shaikh


question, when home was not enough

history said
stars and stripes govern
you and me and our twisted nuances
the youtube video searches and internet belief
is no color for betrayal

- In between our universes, exists but one line, turgid with anticipation and failing fast. Boy said culture isn't culture if you have to smuggle it. He was blond, magnifico. -


question, when they ask why i ran

tell them it wasn't
the flash of a cinema screen
soapy undoing of fear
harvest song in my bellybutton

talk, about where I come from

how dust sits right underneath sand
something tight hiding
coiled iron, hermana
unsatisfied with what is

explain, I was tired and alone

- Father only ever wanted to protect and feed and pay his dues. Give and Take, norte sacrificio. -


question, when hungry is too much

all you wanted was simple
papá, redefine family
do it in seven
how is leaving the right prayer

- In California, I looked for the stars but only found people. I wonder if the sky changes based on who you see it with, eso si que es. -
One of a Million Cuentos
by Lilian Garcia

Un sueño.
That's all it's been,
a dream.
Of beauty and peace and all those words that sound neat and clean.
But haven't they've told you?
You have to fight,
give them your all,
your time and your light,
and it just might be fine and alright.
But your bones that once were new fail
bend and break
It all is so much
you're tired, relentlessly ache.
In the end, there's only you, who you can blame
For believing and dreaming and trying to fly.
Didn't they warn you?
You just might have to die.

Pero como el Sol
up, up you go,
defying the odds.
It's what you're made of from the grace of the gods.
Living and breathing,
facing your doubts
convincing the world you are more than your broken house.
Hoisting yourself, up from the claws, the hooks of despair.
But you're Brown and Divine.
You might have a chance, of beating and cheating the hands of nightmares.
Your hands are dirty,
Imperfect, unfair,
Prove of your pain.
Will it be worth it?
Trust, it won't be in vain.

You did it, when tears in
Your eyes, with a song in the back of your heart
You proved them all wrong,
Now just you wait.
They will watch you command
The earth, the sky, the ocean.
It has been your fate.
Jeweled Journey
by Quinn O'Grady

Rocks and sand
No jewels lie in my land
But I am going to find
Jewels of every kind
On my way to America
My journey begins
With my mother and the twins
Boarding a plane
All the lights look the same
Tiny diamonds winking at me
Then all I can see
Is the ocean of sapphire
And the sun's red fire
Like a ruby in the sky
Then the opal moon says hi
Even the clouds are pearls
As the plane whirls
On to America
Where a new gem is found
Different than the emerald ground
No jewel can compare
To the freedom in this air