Texts by Youth: Poems on Identity

7th and 8th Grade ELD* Students of Lawrence Cook Middle School

I’m a blue spiral stretching and jumping,

I’m the growl of a cheetah stalking its prey,

I’m “Starship” played on the radio,

I’m a black Lamborghini cruising down the highway,

I’m a tan bed covered with pillows,

I’m a hot taco covered with chile,

I’m a beautiful palm tree standing on the beach,

I’m a loud drum played by a band,

I’m a scary snake rolled on a tree,

I’m hot Apatzingen, Michoacan,

I’m a YOLO having fun…


I’m a red rhombus jumping and stretching,

I’m a shark stalking its prey,

I’m “Eres mi necesidad” played on the computer,

I’m a black Hummer cruising down the highway,

I’m a red chair covered with pillows,

I’m a delicious pizza covered with cheese,

I’m a raging volcano pouring out lava in Hawaii,

I’m a good-looking pine standing in the university,

I’m a new guitar played in the house,

I’m a venomous spider creeping in a desert,

I’m Apatzingen in summer at sunrise,

I’m shadow on the beach…


I’m a gold square fighting,

I’m the bark of a dog,

I’m “Cat Daddy” played on the radio,

I’m a blue Camaro racing down the highway,

I’m a desk covered with books,

I’m a strawberry covered with cream,

I’m a beautiful waterfall,

I’m an apple tree standing in my yard,

I’m a shiny sax played by men,

I’m a snake slithering in the street,

I’m a red fire slinking in a stove,

I’m Tumbiscatin in summer,

I’m a naughty shadow…


*ELD: English Language Development
These poems were written by Newcomers to the United States using a student and teacher-generated word bank and a template, or series of prompts, created by poet and author Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge (1996, Poemcrazy: Freeing your life with words).

Photos by Kaplan