Young Writers Project: Saskia Gori-Montanelli, Grace Orvis, Garrett Duell & Lucy Poduschnick
ADDISON COUNTY — 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, Young Writers Project presents General Writing as well as a notable poem from our recent writing and visual art contest, “A Celebration of Trees.”
To the tree outside my window
I am a girl made of skin. Are you a tree, or a fennel seed on my tongue? You’re so small.
Sometimes I want to be weak more than I want to be listened to;
I think it’s just grief. (All you know is a driveway.)
Do you think of me? When I stand outside and look through your thumbs,
I’m sipping tea. Chamomile. A silhouette of you.
I wish you could hold my breath because it’s steeping now.
I’m not like you, I carry my body. Yours is but a scent of ice.
(How cold you must be.)
— Saskia Gori-Montanelli, 16 Middlebury
In the midst of late winter, the sky seems endlessly gray, and the trees bend toward the ground as if to express that they too are tired of the cold. March continues to tease us with the promise of warm days, blue skies leaving us with the disappointment that arises each day as the thermometer stays stubbornly stuck below 32. The icicles that hang outside my window like stalactites drip leisurely, a hopeful sign. Yet the snow that suffocates the land beneath remains unchanged, unwilling to listen to the promises of spring made by the calendar. Outside, the world seems to be holding its breath, the silence so delicate, like glass, that one feels compelled to whisper and tiptoe to preserve it.
The snow piles have grown taller, dwarfing me as I stand beside them. I know not to attempt to climb them, as the snow is like quicksand, and the thought of snow running down my calves and pooling in my boots is enough to curb my temptation. My breath collects in front of me, suspended in time until the wind that stings like thousands of needles against my exposed face sweeps it away. The numbness that the cold brings serves as a final reminder that the warmth that we crave has not yet arrived, and with that, the silence is shattered with the sound of my footsteps retreating back to safe territory.
— Grace Orvis, 14
dangerous but quiet.
smashed wood planks.
And a few mice too.
for me and you.
Weeds in spots they shouldn’t be.
and a dozen workers.
Everybody knew it was the time.
except for a few old memories
and a cobweb.
The days are over
and so is our fun.
We work and work and work
to build a new one.
It’s a matter of time,
a trophy of sweat
till we build it again.
And do not forget.
— Garrett Duell, 12
What starts as a piece of paper
each crease pressed with gentle hands,
wings folded out,
turns into a pretty crane.
The bird is perched on the table,
it ruffles its feathers,
then the paper crane takes flight.
— Lucy Poduschnick, 13 Middlebury
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