People & Places

YWP: Sleepy Secrets

Sam van de Ven is a home-schooled junior. Courtesy photo
Sam van de Ven is a home-schooled junior. Courtesy photo

Editor’s note: Young Writers Project, a Vermont nonprofit dedicated to helping students write well, will be sharing several exceptional pieces of best student work each week at for special display over the weekend. We hope you appreciate the young writers’ viewpoints, imagination and experiences. Please let us know what you think.

Sleepy Secrets

By Sam van de Ven,
a home-schooled junior

Click below to hear Sam read her poem. [soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

About YWP

YWP publishes about 1,000 students’ work each year here, in 19 newspapers across Vermont and in parts of New Hampshire and on Vermont Public Radio. It runs an online teen writing community,, which has only one rule: be respectful. It works with teachers in 63 schools who use YWP’s unique, free digital classroom platform and provides many with ongoing professional development mentoring and other teacher training. And it is developing NxN, a writing center at its Burlington headquarters. For more, go to or

Wrapped in a cozy blanket;
just us two,
this day, this moment
was made for me and you.

Away from where we are
couldn’t get much colder,
but I’m safe and warm in your arms
with my head on your shoulder.

It’s not my fault
if you thought I was asleep;
my shallow breaths
didn’t mean I wasn’t falling deep.

Your lips pretend
and whispered a secret
I sweat that on all that is mine,
I will keep it.

I tried not to smile
and squeezed shut my eyes tighter;
I peaked one short time
and your eyes shone brighter.

Words asleep
are never fake;
when will you repeat them
when I’m awake?

I finally smile
and continue to rest;
his heart beats the truth
beneath his chest.

If you are a youth or you know a youth who is passionate about something and works hard at it, be it building models or flying or playing the drums or climbing cliffs, please contact Geoffrey Gevalt at [email protected] and tell him something about the youth and how to get in touch with her or him.

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  • Doug Wacek

    This is a terrific program. I’m delighted you will be sharing periodically on VT Digger.