People & Places

YWP: ‘My box of broken thoughts’

Young Writers Project, an independent nonprofit based in Burlington, engages young people to write and use digital media to express themselves with clarity and power, and to gain confidence and skills for school, the workplace and life.

Check out the most recent issue of The Voice, Young Writers Project’s monthly digital magazine. Click here.

Each week, VTDigger features a writing submission — an essay, poem, fiction or nonfiction — accompanied by a photo or illustration from Young Writers Project.

YWP publishes about 1,000 students’ work each year here, in newspapers across Vermont, on Vermont Public Radio and in YWP’s monthly digital magazine, The Voice. Since 2006, it has offered young people a place to write, share their photos, art, audio and video, and to explore and connect online at For more information, please email Susan Reid at [email protected].

Photo of the Week by Lauren McCabe, 15, South Burlington.

It’s not easy in our present to look behind us and confront, shake hands with, or hug our former selves. This week’s featured poet, Willa Pelschoen of Bolton, describes what it’s like to revisit the scraps of herself that have come to pass but still never quite left her.

My box of broken thoughts

Willa Pelschoen, 15, Bolton

Far on the left of my bookcase,
below Jane and Agatha,
sits an old clementine box
filled with scraps of paper and sticky notes,
the place where my thoughts go
to be forgotten.

Sometimes though,
when I feel a breeze
through my window
on a summer night,
I’ll take the crumpled-up pages
from my box
and read 
each lavender-scented sheet
until the girl
who I’ve hidden away so carefully
drifts through my wall,
and I find myself telling her
all that has happened
since she left.

VTD Editor

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