Student Poems Nominated for National Poetry Month

For National Poetry Month in April, teachers were invited to nominate student poems for inclusion on the YES Prep blog. Use the links below to check out the brilliance of our students.

La Vida

Yesenia Chairez, 11th, Fifth Ward

I am the daughter of an immigrant
The immigrant that takes all the jobs
The immigrant that is a criminal
The immigrant that is to be banished

I am the daughter of a hard worker
The hard worker that provides for his family
The hard worker that builds this country
The hard worker that abides by the laws

I am the daughter of a citizen
The citizen that was guided towards education
The citizen that teaches the future
The citizen that fell in love with an immigrant

I see two worlds colliding to form a beautiful future
The future where I pursue an education
Help this country prosper
Provide for a family
and why not fall in love with an immigrant

Why does the nation feel the need to put borders
when America was made for all
We may all be of different colors or shades
but we are all human

The diversity of cultures
and the blending of shades
is what has brought

Counting Backwards

Jesus “Chuy” Hernandez, 11th, Brays Oaks

No doubt in my head
I tried my best to be myself
Try to rewind time
But there’s no time to repeat myself
Countdown backwards if you like
Maybe there’s currency in the back
I’m not lacking focus
It’s just the past is my backpack
It plays like a soundtrack
I’m down to both my heart & mind
It’s all I have
With this right here
Is just a piece of the puzzle
And I just found mine
Countdown backwards if you’d like
But I’m not sticking my life
Where it’s not supposed to be
I’m going to be right here
My world fell apart already
I don’t need it to happen again
I stand clear
Countdown backwards if you like
But if I had a whole week
To list reasons
On why nothing should matter
I would
Nothing is keeping me away
From where I need to be
That’s the only matter I understood
Countdown backwards if you’d like
But if there’s no one at the door if you knock
It’s blocked
Leave don’t ever come back
To that door they don’t want you there
It’s flocked
Counting backwards is like retrieving information
From an accusation that’s not there anymore
Stop with all this contemplation
Counting upwards one
It’s all coming back
The light shining back from the sun
Counting upwards two
I’m ten toes deep in this project
I only used temporary objects
To complete my complex
Counting upwards three
I can see
Now I’m down
My crown is falling down
I catch it

I know my worth
I know that I’m here
I know my time is coming near
No need to count at all
Just for the fact that
I’m just particles with energy
Floating through the air
Trying to find purpose
Everybody has a purpose
That purpose comes with a surplus
With a massive outburst of
Nowadays I think those three properties of matter
Are starting to go extinct
Just before our very eyes
Maybe I’m delusional
But who know what lies
Stop counting


Annalice Sandiero, 10th, Southeast

When you are too
Scared to speak
You write

You write in the
Language that
You feel is not

This way you do
Not stumble on
Your words

You don’t mispronounce

Girl Rising

Esmeralda Elizondo, 11th, Fifth Ward
*Poem inspired by author’s research on child marriage as part of the Girl Rising campaign for girls’ education and empowerment.

“To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death.”
“1 in 7 girls are married before their 15th birthday in developing worlds.”
I may be too young to understand but I know this is not right.
Bound to someone I do not know, someone I do not love.
Forced to do something I cannot stop.
“Girls are very different within the family, young girls bearing the greater burdens of the household.”
I cannot refuse what he asks of me: to clean, to cook, to bear his children.
What am I supposed to do?
I can’t do anything.
I have no power to,
This change I cannot restrain
Scars and bruises left on my wrist from my constant pain.
Locked away with no escape
Was this the really safer choice for me? “In developing nations, the number one cause of death for girls ages fifteen to nineteen is not disease.
It is not hunger.
It is not war.
It is childbirth.”
My heart beats constantly  to no end
breathing heavily – the pain; it hurt so much I can’t stop it
When will it stop? Everything burns
Then I hear cry
Cry of a child, my child
finally the pain has stopped as I see my baby
I have reached my end
I can no longer feel
My heart has stopped
My last breath
My only wish is to my child
For a better life for my little girl.


Sayra Colchado, 12th, North Central

To whom do I owe the pleasure to my pain?
Why must I feel my life fading away?
Life is joy, life is sadness.
It’s an illusion that ends with pain
A never ending cycle of a constant reminder.
A reminder that time is always moving and never stopping,
for anyone or anything.
So I must live to my fullest.
A life filled with no regrets.
A life filled with lovely memories.
For in the end we won’t exist
and we’ll become a fragment in someone else’s mind.
No longer real, but still living.


Keila Herrera, 11th, Fifth Ward

What is the meaning of love?
Does love give compassion?
Does love give trust?

Seeing the person in their eyes
has a meaning inside
Looking outside as I rise
Gaining the trust is having love

What is love?
Not knowing, being abandoned
behind my back.
Having an empty soul,
not having hope.

On a gloomy day,
looking in the mirror,
Watery eyes falling as
The river.
Believing the world would end
I have to stand the pain
to raise my hands to rise.

I see the light shining
In the sky like the gold
Of hope.
Breaking hearts becomes
The filling shiny hole

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