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Hazel This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

“Tell me what color my eyes are.”

This simple and poignant line of Gina Lione-Napoli’s poem, “Hazel”, tells the powerful, resilient story of a girl, abandoned by her father, whom she tries to cut all connections with. Throughout the piece, she says how her father was never there for her and that she doesn’t want him to be a part of her life (“You weren’t her first words/ You won’t be her last”). Every word tugs at your heart and floods your veins with a multitude of feelings: pain, sympathy, shame, anger, but surprisingly, self-empowerment. This poem teaches the reader to never let any person drag you down and, to use every single blow you’ve endured to develop into a stronger, more courageous person. Without a doubt, “Hazel” is one of the best works I’ve ever read in Teen Ink before and it’s certainly something that every person needs to read.




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