Signs

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When the pencil skirt fits,
but doesn’t sit
at the hips,
as does the cyclist,
who would rather
be caught dead
than with a bulge,
even if it’s just
an extra bunch
of fabric;
and so she walks,
in measured steps,
passing where
the sidewalk ends,
and then, drops off
into dirt,
until the final block,
where precision goes
to posture,
and so go the toes
– over the lip –
and then,
the heals,
and then,
one palm,
one knee,
and the
stack of crepes
planned to be
for everyone.

When the rice is simmering,
and asks for stirring,
just occasionally,
and so she drops
the wooden spoon,
takes up the sword,
and decides,
right then,
and there,
to prepare
kimchi
for winter,
which is yet
months away,
unlike the hand
on the timer,
which begets
a ten-second
countdown,
“Oh shit,”
and the other
on the blade,
“Oh shit,”
there is
salt
in a wound,
and it is time to move
back to the pot,
with rice searing
to its bottom.

When the appetite,
stirs the night,
she slips
to the cupboard,
looks in,
up, top,
middle,
bottom,
but sees nothing
with nearsighted eyes,
which is why,
her past self
put out
the one-half
cocoa-carob
energy bar,
on the counter,
where apparently
it is heir apparent
for ants play,
because something
tastes like
plus two grams
of protein,
and feels like
soda,
“Fizz,
boom,
pop!”
on her tongue.

When she arrives, at last,
not merely late
but also hungry,
and asking
for further
accommodation,
like a band aid,
a courtesy call,
a chance to sit,
it might be
a sign of immaturity,
or being irresponsible,
or at the end
of a misguided hike,
but more likely,
of the universal struggle,
of learning to live
outside the bubble,
where there
are new types
of pressure,
on the air,
to focus
on marks
in the floor,
to tune out
the sink of dirty dishes,
empty the mind,
and then,
get back to work.

Red

written by Eva, Romeo and Ollie in Michael’s 4th & 5th grade classroom
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Red is the color of
a ripe cherry,
falling
from a tree;

cinnamon candy,
sizzling
on your tongue;

a lobster,
drifting
in the ocean.

Red is the color of
a red panda,
climbing
a bamboo tree;

an apple
on a branch;

pepperoni pizza,
melting
in your mouth.

Red is the color of
lava,
engulfing homes
and,
unfortunately,
people.

Orange

written by Eleanor, Santi and Beka in Michael’s 4th & 5th grade classroom
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Orange is the color of
coral,
in the deep,
indigo
sea;

hot coals,
in a campfire;

a pumpkin,
fresh
from the garden;

A sweet,
juicy
mango;

a beautiful bird,
swooping low,
over the trees.

Orange is the color of
sunrise —
bright,
blazing;

a clownfish,
swimming
through seaweed;

Garfield,
from the comics;

the tangerine,
in your lunchbox.

Orange is the color of
a tiger,
prowling
deep in the jungle.

Yellow

written by Michael’s 4th & 5th grade classroom at Trillium Charter School
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Yellow is the color of the sun’s rays,
reflecting off the ocean,
after its nighttime slumber;

a solo goldfish,
in the midst,
of other kinds of fish,
in a faroff pond,
away from all human settlements;

Homer’s head —
shiny,
glistening,
bald;

the warmth of your heart,
when you eat
buttery,
crunchy
popcorn.

Yellow is the color of
a pufferfish,
expressing its emotion,
in the fresh,
salty
sea;

A bumblebee,
flying,
in a field
of bright,
blue
flowers;

cheddar cheese,
falling
from your sandwich,
its potential,
suddenly,
wasted;

Draco Malfoy’s hair,
turned bright,
by a horrible childhood.

Yellow is the color of
the first leaf
fallen,
the first sign
Autumn has arrived.

Blue

written by Emma, Asa, Blue and Kaya in Bijal’s 4th & 5th grade classroom
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Blue is the color of
fresh-picked blueberries;

the ocean,
shimmering in sunlight;

a recess ball,
waiting
to be played with;

a clear sky.

Blue is the color of
a bird,
chirping
from a high tree;

thick paint,
in a metal can;

and denim jackets.

Blue is the color of
Satya’s hair,
lighting
up the room.

She gave us inspiration to write this poem!

 

Pink

written by Michael’s 4th & 5th grade classroom at Trillium Charter School
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Pink is the color of
cotton candy
at the fair;

tulips,
basking in sun;

and new erasers.

Pink is the color of
a beautiful,
flowing
dress;

flowers,
on a peach tree;

hearts,
on a Valentine’s card,
for your best friend;

and bubblegum.

Pink is the color
of a piglet,
before it rolls
in the mud;

a hummingbird,
whizzing,

or a crocus,
peeping,

all signs
Spring has arrived.

 

 

 

 

Silver

written by Chloe, Oliver and Conrad in Michael’s 4th & 5th grade classroom
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Silver is the color of
a dolphin pod,
swimming
in the ocean;

A shiny
bottle cap
on the ground,
waiting
to be picked up
and added
to a collection;

a brand new
paint tube
in Art class;

a stone,
at the bottom
of a wishing well;

a motorcycle,
engine purring,
before it zooms
past all the cars.

Silver is the color of
rare
diamonds.

Bender’s bottom —
glamorous,
metallic;

the fog
on a cold winter’s day;

a castle
from a Grimm fairytale;

smoke —
thick,
polluting,
following close behind
a spaceship.

Silver is the color of
a dog tag,
on a newborn puppy,
in a sad
and no-fun
kennel.

Black

written by Lou, Kaden and Rory in Michael’s 4th & 5th grade classroom
edited and illustrated by Kayla Kennett

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Black is the color of
Halloween night;

darkness,
magnifying your fears;

the concept of time,
confusing
but deep;

the unknown
end,
the beginning
of everything;

dread and excitement,
alike.

Black is the color of
an Xbox,
your favorite
relief;

a tire,
moving slowly,
as you run
out of gas;

rocks —
wet,
shiny,
as they travel
down
the swift
creek.

Black is the color of
the midnight sky,
in its moonless season.