At the end of ninth grade, I approached my English teacher about the idea of a literary magazine for the school. She really liked that idea and said she’d look into it. We had a small student newspaper, but there wasn’t a whole lot in there.
I had helped on the literary magazine during eighth grade, and it was a cool experience to see submitted writing and artwork from students. It was also a challenge to put it together. When you’re not directly involved, you don’t think about the details and the process: having to evaluate submissions, handling pieces submitted anonymously, which piece seems right to be first or to close the collection .
I had shared some of my writing with her during the year, some things I had done outside of class. And she encouraged me to submit to a magazine for young writers. (I forget what the magazine was called.) I sent in a bunch of things, but “Dancing Fairies” is the one they published. I can’t say it was a favorite of mine, but at least someone else liked it.
This is another poem that I believe was inspired by a phrase I drafted using the magnetic poetry pieces.
They stare out the windows
Bored out of their minds
The lady in front isn’t interesting anymore
Their minds wandered long before
She began explaining the fascinating new use for fractions
Screeching chalk against the blackboard was noisier than usual
A sudden shriek from the little brown-haired girl
Next to the window
Interrupted the silence
She cheered and the others’ eyes grew as wide
As the ocean
Pointing and shouting
Jumping and laughing
It was enough for the lady to give up
She led them outside
The snowflakes danced in the sky
And floated downward
Spreading cheer and happiness
To the children