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Young Writers Project: Rebecca Orten, Addison Schnoor & Saskia Gori-Montanelli

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve, and connects them with authentic audiences in newspapers, before live audiences, and online. YWP also publishes an annual anthology and “The Voice,” a digital magazine with YWP’s best writing, images, and features. More info: youngwritersproject.org or contact YWP at [email protected] or (802) 324-9538. This month, we present General Writing responses.
Generation of broken mirrors
How do we cope with
seven years of bad luck,
sweating summers away, treating youth
like bittersweet apricots, unripe or rotting,
when winter brings
our future’s eroded footprints
as clearly as if they were stamped
in freshly fallen snow?
We are not ourselves, ruining things we love
by becoming them,
making competitions of unblooming.
I love me,
I love me not. Love me,
love the parallel of armor and amour.
Petals pirouetting,
metallic lace lining pistil, pistol.
There is pollen under my (your) eyes
and I (you) am (are) allergic.
— Rebecca Orten, 16
Middlebury
 
Frozen innocence
That puffy, innocent
frozenness sure
looks harmless from
the inside of my warm, cozy house.
But past experience tells me
it’s not so seemingly harmless
down your snow pants
or sliding down the back of your neck.
Or in some unfortunate cases,
melting down your cold, oh-so-cold,
cheeks as your clumsy sibling tries
to somehow fit an apology out of his mouth.
No, I’ll never be fooled again.
Although it does look pretty and
it marks the season,
I won’t fall into its trap.
— Addison Schnoor, 13
Weybridge
Heavy milk
I love too deeply, like a clementine behind a grape peel,
thick skin with bitter water.
If a puddle on a sunken sidewalk is love, I have fallen in.
I have stepped in liquid heartache,
it is chewed gum on the sole of my shoe.
A tongue of cinnamon and cigarettes, you have.
Where is the love I saved for myself?
Must have left it on a train to New York City.
How slowly 10 minutes can go by.
Time holds my bones together with its white grip.
The calcium is getting to me.
Up to my neck in milk, I am 2% closer to you,
a skim puddle of bleached water disguised as constructive criticism.
Two more cups until your blood turns to cream,
mix it with a plastic knife and watch it melt to steam.
Is it oatmeal or alchemy?
I ask you, who am I without my name?
Without the sound that calls me
(your tongue against your teeth),
I am an empty girl.
What word would you know me as if the syllables fell asleep?
Like weak clouds filled with steam,
tell me my name.
— Saskia Gori-Montanelli, 16
Middlebury

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