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English Language Arts (Grades Seven to Ten)

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For years I had thrown arrows with deliberate, feverish, haste.
But to undeserving hearts did my arrows go to waste.
Some of them get dipped in flat,
some in satin, some are glossed...
But when I find someone who's iridescent,
The skies are not star-crossed.

Grade Seven:
Of course, I’d seen him before. And I remembered
as he explained to Mrs. P.,
The way he spelled his name all wrong:
“It’s Jakob with a ‘k’,” as he turned towards Jacob T.
We proceeded to get out
our brand new spiral-bounds.
What to me, for weeks, was nothing
turned out certainly profound.

Though I never really listened
to his narrative that day
I saw mascara running down
in stripes of charcoal grey.
Mrs. P. left class to wash
those rosy cheeks all clear
His words- they’d left an impact...
And were words I’d never hear.

Grade Ten:
As he scratches rough drafts down
in that crisp new spiral-bound,
taking breaks between the stanzas,
my memories rewound.
“Wise beyond your years,” they said
And still, that’s what they say.
Maybe this year if I listen,
I’ll have stripes of charcoal grey.

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