Young Writers Project: Esra Anzali & Narges Anzali

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: or contact YWP at [email protected] or (802) 324-9538.

This month, we present General Writing responses.


It’s been a year

Maybe it’s been a year.

I know this house like

the lines of my mother’s face now.

My life is contained

inside four walls, five rooms,

and three bathrooms, specifically.

A projector in the basement

that we made exactly a year ago.

I don’t know what else to tell you,

except that my cat likes to

sleep next to the couch

in a cardboard box with

glittery purple tissue paper

inside it.

Please know that this is not

a metaphor

for my loneliness.

I don’t need metaphors

to make my loneliness palatable now.

I just want to tell you

that I am sick of my bed

and the glow of my computer screen.

I bury myself under my old interests

like a worn-out blanket,

hoping against hope

there’s some joy that I can pull out

of this threadbare garment.

Blankets used to keep me warm,

but now I’m just using them

to keep the cold out.

I want you to know

that this poem is not a metaphor

for the complexities of my soul.

I want you to know

that I am past metaphors.

I want you to know that my soul

is not complex anymore,

it just craves faces and people…

— Narges Anzali, 15, Weybridge

Excerpted from original. Read complete poem at



The girl in blue

The girl in the blue

coat walks by my porch every

day, and she smiles.

She smiles at me.

I have memorized her face,

her dimples, her perfectly straight

teeth, her light skin

with freckles, her green eyes

clouded with gold.

I want to reach out and touch

the soft blond locks of hair

that fall out of her braid as

she walks by.

She hums a tune in a sweet,

clear voice, and she carries her

juice box in her hand, a flower

in her bag as she twirls around.

Every time she walks by,

she takes a sip of juice,


Sweet, I imagine.

She does not have a name,

at least not that I know of,

but I long to call her by it.

I long to let the butterflies

beating in my stomach free to

fly above her golden head.

I stare at her, the aching

in my chest almost sweet as

I hear her singing.

My fingers flex, fighting

the urge to reach for hers.

My eyes are glassy with tears

as I breathe quickly, watching her

leave, my heart in her hands.

— Esra Anzali, 12, Middlebury

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