People & Places

Young Writers Project: My backpack

Young Writers Project is a creative online community of teen writers, photographers, and artists, based in Vermont since 2006. Each week, VTDigger features the writing and art of young Vermonters who publish their work on, a free, interactive website for youth 12-18 years old. To find out more, visit, or contact Executive Director Susan Reid at; 802-324-9538.

“Summer,” by Lily Meyer, 13, of Montpelier.

It’s not easy making friends. When you find that one trusted companion who’s always right there by your side to help take a little weight off your shoulders, you know just how lucky you are. That best pal can even come in the form of an inanimate object, Charlotte poet Mira Novak would attest; this week’s featured writer sings an ode to the backpack that never fails to save the day.

My backpack

Mira Novak, 15, Charlotte

You were there the night before the first day of school when I checked you 13 times to make sure I had everything.

You were there waiting at home, almost mockingly, when I tried out a tote bag for a day and was reminded why Free People bags are “free with purchase,” after the mesh gave out.

You were there with your left side pocket filled with a snack instead of a script at a hectic musical rehearsal.

You were there holding an essay I was so proud of that I needed to keep it between just you and me before I got partner feedback on it.

You were there carrying extra pencils I decided to pack in case anyone had forgotten one.

You were there with tissues when I couldn’t get to the classroom box by the window fast enough during spring allergy season.

You were there when I needed something to lean on after a long French class, and an even longer homework assignment ahead.

I have pushed you into lockers, filled you up so much your zippers couldn't close, and hidden you when I’ve overcompensated with materials on a standardized test day – when the test was actually done on a computer.

But also…

You were on top of a haybale when I put my hands up rollercoaster-style on a tractor ride on a farm class fieldtrip last fall.


You were in a car trunk when I had to eat an ice cream cone at top speed before it melted after a series of aesthetic shots by the beach with a friend.

You are a constant.

If you were any other style, kind, or make, I could never have had all the memories, support, and comfort I have gotten from you.

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