YWP: Asphalt Stars

YWP only green-webEditor’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 VTDigger.org for special display over the weekend. We hope you appreciate the young writers’ viewpoints, imagination and experiences. Please let us know what you think.

Asphalt Stars

By Carly Booth,
a junior at Rutland High School

Three AM
Lonely houses on lonely streets
Lonely kids tapping lonely feet
Avenue dark but for one yellow light
One boy considering, “fight or flight?”

Three AM
And just two streets over
One girl’s father never comes home sober
Avenue dark but for one yellow light
But the red on her arms makes an orange night

The world is upside down and backwards
And these scattered yellow lights
Are like stars in the asphalt skies
Silent cries for help from souls broken like potsherds

Three AM
Textbooks stacked against her like cards in Vegas
Her last year of high school but she still feels aimless
Avenue dark but for one yellow light
One girl’s hand with two more essays left to write

Three AM
On the wealthy end of town
One boy’s parents can’t seem to quiet down
Avenue dark but for one yellow light
They’ll never agree on who’s wrong and who’s right

The world is upside down and backwards
And these scattered yellow lights
Are like stars in the asphalt skies
Silent cries for help from souls broken like potsherds

Constellations of these potsherd people
Spread into galaxies of dying dreams
So remember, when it’s you
Awake at three AM,
You are not alone
Reach out your broken fingertips
To the other yellow lights on dark avenues
And let your fragments become a part
Of the world’s largest mosaic
And let your pain become beauty

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, youngwritersproject.org, 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 youngwritersproject.org or ywpschools.net.

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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  • Peter Gregg


    Great observations and an ending not lost on dreamers. Very positive…

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