Slamming Poetry

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It’s homecoming week at my little school on the South Side of Chicago. That means a lot of fun, a lot of craziness, and a lot of seeing a whole new side of my students.

After school today, the kids put on a Poetry Slam and somehow I ended up as a judge. Hearing their stories in poetry form was heartbreaking, and I was again reminded of why I chose to do this work. These kids need an outlet, someone to listen, someone to care.

So, in honor of my students bearing their souls at the Poetry Slam, I wrote a little poem for them (Remember how I like to write ridiculous poems?) So, here it goes. Imagine me reading this in my best poetry slam voice, and cover your eyes for the first stanza if you’re sensitive to a little bit of vulgarity.

Twas the night before Homecoming and all through the halls,

My students be tweakin’,  ‘cuz I’m bustin’ their balls.

They say, “Ms. Reveal, you’re doin’ too much.”

I come back at you now, Warriors don’t need no crutch.

We gotta learn this material: about life, about you,

Imma get you to college, if it’s the last thing I do.

You have so much potential, I know you’ll go far,

When you shoot for the moon, you land among stars.

So forget all this violence, the gangs, the neighborhood,

When you’re here in my classroom, you’re up to some good.

So we set expectations, we set our goals high,

When you walk ‘cross that stage, you’ll be waving goodbye,

To the people who brought you way down in the depths,

And the people who brought you back up step by step.

What I want for you is more than you’ll ever know,

To learn, to succeed, to thrive, and to grow.

But what I want most of all is for you to believe

You can do anything. And that’ll set you free.