A child's hands making the shape of a heart with the sun shining through it.

Genesee Hill Elementary: Sharing Light 2022

In the spring of 2022, we were pleased to complete our third year working with Genesee Hill Elementary School second graders to create original poetry. In this project, students from four classrooms worked with Jack Straw’s professional writer Vicky Edmonds to write their own poetry. This web page and our anthology of the student’s poems are the culmination of this project.

“The children were so sincere and insightful, and as always they amazed me with their beautiful writing,” writes Vicky. “They created pieces of deep appreciation for their families and others who are closest to them, about remembering that they can take comfort in nature in moments when they most need it, about trying to find the words to work through difficulties and hurt feelings with others, and about the most beautiful aspects of themselves that are waiting to be noticed deep inside.”

We created an anthology of the students’ poems, Sharing Light, and shared it with everyone who participated.

Purchase the Book Here

Sharing Light: Genesee Hill Elementary Poetry was produced by Genesee Hill Elementary School students and Jack Straw Cultural Center with the generous support of the Washington State Arts Commission, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and The Creative Advantage, and individual donors.

The Jack Straw artist team included writer Vicky Edmonds, designer Levi Fuller, and Executive Director Joan Rabinowitz. Special thanks to the second graders of Genesee Hill Elementary and Genesee Hill staff. We especially want to thank 2nd grade teachers Alison Aylesworth, Danielle Jones, Renee Marroquin, and Erin Munavu, who helped make this project possible.

Click ‘Read More’ to see the students’ poems.

Ms. Marroquin’s Class: Like a Fire Burning at Night

Ms. Jones’s Class: Seeds of Love

Ms. Munavu’s Class: Stronger than We Could Be Alone

Ms. Aylesworth’s Class: Ready to Be Revealed

Ms. Marroquin’s Class

Charlotte

Dear Sis,
If my life was a flower,
you would be the dirt.
You are so nice to me,
you have always been there with me.
Without you, I would die.

 

Delaney

My love is like a pastel cloud
that rains love around the world.

 

Evie

Dear Dad and Mom,
If my life was a flower
you would be the petals
that let me bloom.
Without you I’d be an invisible flower.
If my petals would fall off the flower,
the soil and sun and water
might help a little bit,
but you are the most important part
of the flower.

 

Hailey

Dear Mia,
If my life was an icicle,
you would be the cold water
surrounding me,
keeping me from melting.
Without you I would melt into the ocean
and flood the whole world.
I support people.
It’s really hard to keep afloat,
so thank you for supporting me.

 

Juliette

Dear Harper,
If my life was a butterfly,
you would be the chrysalis
keeping me safe,
and you help tell me
when to spread my wings.
Without you I would never
spread my wings
and I would never be safe
from danger.

 

Leona

My ideas are like green trees.
They can get cut down,
but there are still millions of them left
and lots are going to grow back,
and they grow every day.

 

Pearl

Dear Grace, Harper and Juliette,
If my life was the sky,
you would be the sun beams
lighting me up.
Without you
I would be cold and barren.

 

Reed

My kindness is like green dinosaurs
protecting my friends.

 

Si

Dear Mom,
If my life was a game,
you would be the instructions
teaching me how to win the game.
Without you
I wouldn’t know how to play.

 

Torsten

My friendship is like a soft blanket
comforting everyone.

 

David

Dear Mom,
If my life was a computer,
you would be the one controlling me,
making the signals to type in the words.

 

Elizabeth

My friendship is like a rainbow
giving everyone joy.

 

Grace

My joy is like a violet unicorn
playing with everyone
and being kind to my friends.

 

Gwen

My truth is like a fire burning at night.
It burns even when a strong wind is blowing.
It shows people that they shouldn’t judge others.
Finally, the fire goes out,
but everyone who’s seen the fire
is filled with honesty.

 

Harper

My peace is like light blue skies
comforting me
while I and my mom
sing through the night.

 

Julien

My spirit is like the morning breeze,
it searches for the perfect state of mind
to get lost in.

 

Laird

My love is like the bright yellow sun
sharing its light with the earth
so everything beautiful grows.

 

Lake

My love is like the warm yellow sun
comforting my dad and mom!

 

Patrick

Dear Torsten,
If my life was a water slide,
you would be the poles
that keep me stable.
Without you
I would fall and break.

 

Rainier

Dear Sister,
If my life was a lamp,
you would be the electricity
making me happy.
Without you
I would be in a dark room.
Thank you for being
a great sister.

 

Sig

Dear Mom,
If my life was a rainy cloud,
you would be the sun
that makes me feel better.
You would make me rise up
and not rain,
and you would help me
feel better and happier.
Without you
I would be a wandering, sad cloud,
and without you
I would not be me.

 

Zachary

Dear Mommy,
If my life was a rose,
you would be the thorns protecting me.
Without you
I would be picked out of the ground
and die.

Ms. Jones’s Class

Amaya

Dear Mom,
If my life was a rose,
You would be the angel of the sun and rain.
You give all our love to me
and I even sing to you.
You make me shine.
Without you
I would be lonely and forgotten.

 

Eliana

Dear Mommy and Daddy,
if my life was a butterfly,
you would be the wings
pushing me up and helping me fly.
Without you
I might not be alive.

 

Emmy

Dear Mom,
If my life was a bird,
you would be the feathers
keeping me warm and safe.
Without you I’d be cold
and I couldn’t fly.

 

Fisher

The moon helps me sleep
and comforts me when I don’t feel good.
It protects me.

 

Langley

Dear Mom,
If my life was candy,
you would be the sugar
that makes me sweet.
Without you
I would be plain and boring
and have no cheer.

 

Maximus

Dear Rocky,
If my life was a dog,
you would be the fur.
You would keep me warm with love.
Without you
I would feel not loved.

 

May

The grass shows me the path
when I am lost.
It pushes me into the sunlight.

 

Owen

Dear Mom,
If my life was a bird,
you would be the song and the feathers
that make me one of a kind
and amazing.
Without you I would be dull
and not who I am.

 

Scarlett

The stars comfort me
while I’m on a late night walk,
and they shine,
filling up the dark sky
with kindness and light.
The wind hums in my ears
while it washes all the sadness out of me
and lifts it up into the sky
where it cannot be found.

 

Anna

The wolves howl their soft songs
and it relaxes me.
Whenever I’m mad or upset
I listen and hear the wolves howl.

 

Ben

The bees gather all my sadness
and put it in the hive.
They rise when I’m sad
and throw it away.

 

Emma

Dear Emi,
If my life was candy,
you would be the sweetness inside.
Without you I would feel incomplete.

 

Ezra

The woods and the wind comfort me
and whisper to me that
everything is going to be alright.

 

Grayson

Dear Hayden,
If my life was a tree,
you would be the leaves
keeping me warm with your love.
Without you
I would be cold and freeze.

 

Madison

Dear Mom and Dad,
If my life was a garden,
you would be the sun and the rain
to keep me warm and help me grow.
Without you there would be no sun
and I would wilt and die.
Love,
Madison

 

Maxon

Dear Mom, Dad, Grandma and Raeya,
If my life was a video game,
you would be the heroes
that save me with your love.
Without you I would be captured
and rot from sadness
in a bad guy’s castle
in a jail cell.

 

Quentin

Dear Mom,
If my life was a flower,
you would be the seeds of love.
Without you I would drop
and be lonely.

 

Soren

The rain and clouds
calm my emotions.

 

William

The mountains watch over me
and protect me
and they chase my bad dreams away.

 

Zoey

The sun whispers to me
that I am safe.
It says no one will hurt me,
never ever,
and it is orange, my favorite color,
like a blanket warming me.

Ms. Munavu’s Class

Anna

My family is like a bee hive.
My grandma is like the queen bee
keeping us together.
My other grandma is like the honey
keeping us strong.
My aunts are like the helper bees
keeping us loved.
My mom and dad are like the entrance
watching over us.
My papas are like the outside of the bee hive
keeping us warm.
My brother is like the beeswax
loving and caring and helping me.
My cousins are like the honeycombs
keeping the walls up.
And I am like the little bee
who works hard to keep us safe
and spreads love to all of them.

 

Cecilia

Deep inside I am like ice cream
making people feel excited and happy.
Deep inside I am like a crab
trying to hide and stay safe.
Deep inside I am like the moon
guiding people through the light.
Deep inside I am like a poem
making people feel comforted and safe.

 

Collin

Deep inside I am like a stuffy,
comforting the sad and mad.
I am like a video game,
chomping away the hate.
Deep inside I am like the earth
growing and growing through the hate
and keeping myself strong.
Deep inside I am like a rainbow,
sparkling so bright that the bad goes away.

 

Emily

My family is like a dog.
My mom is like the heart
because she loves all of us so much.
My dad is like the bark that protects us.
My sister is like the ears, she hears everything.
And I am like the eyes,
I see all around and watch out for danger.
Together we are all one.

 

Henley

My family is like a house.
My Mom S.S. is like the roof
keeping us safe.
My Mom L. is like the couch
keeping us comfy.
My brother is like the TV
letting us watch movies.
My sister is like the toys
letting us play.
And I am like the blankets
keeping us warm.

 

Jakob

Deep inside I am like a video game
trying to reach my high score,
giving money to the people
who made the game
and helping people have fun.

 

Kat

My family is like ice cream.
My mom is like the cone
keeping us from falling apart.
My cats are like the ice cream
keeping us sweet.
My stepfather Kyle is like
the candy in the ice cream
making the ice cream extra sweet.
I am like the sprinkles
making it colorful and fun!

 

Lachlan

My family is like a rope,
it has many layers.
My mom is like the rope ends
holding the pressure.
My grandma is like the core
stretching to keep us together
on the inside.
My dad is like the mantle
keeping us together on the outside.
My grandpa is like the texture
making us strong,
and I am like the strands of the rope
helping the other parts.
Together we are stronger
than we could be alone.

 

Lua

My family is like a stream.
My mom is like the water
going slowly and simply down
and being happy and strong.
My daddy is like the rocks
being strong also.
My sister is like the falling water,
peaceful.
My cat is like the grass in the sun
sleeping with us.
And I am like the tiny rocks at the bottom
holding us all.

 

Nolan

My family is like a chocolate chip cookie.
My dad is like the cookie dough
holding all the chocolate chips together.
My mom is like the chocolate chips
being super sweet.
And I am like the sugar
spreading the love.

 

Tommy

My family is like a violin.
My mom is like the strings
making the sound.
My dad is like the bow
helping the sound be louder.
My brother is like the wood
getting the sound out of the violin,
and I am like the tuners
making sure the sound is right.
Together we make our beautiful song.

 

Austin

My family is like a tree.
My dad is like the roots
that hold our family together.
My other dad is like the leaves
that lets the sunlight in.
And my brother is like the wood
that holds our family up.

 

Avery

My family is like a house.
Even though my parents are divorced,
we’re still a house…
My dad is like the roof
that keeps the love together.
My brother is like the furniture
that makes the family look good.
My other dad is like the door
that lets in all the love,
and I am like the toys
that keep the fun going.

 

Charlotte

Deep inside I am like a rose,
growing love and friendship
and pushing away the hate.
Deep inside I am like the ocean,
carrying people who are in need,
bringing people to where they belong
in my gentle waves.

 

Elijah

Deep inside I am like the stars
trying to guide you through the night.
Deep inside I am like a garbage truck
picking up all the litter.
Deep inside I am like a book
trying to help you learn
and keeping out the hate
with my hard cover.
Deep inside I am like a heart
to keep your happiness alive.

 

Gavin

My family is like a canoe.
My dad is like the bottom
trying to hold us together.
My mom and my sister are like the paddles
trying to move us to our home.
My grandma and grandpa are like the seats
trying to let people sit and relax.
My puppy is like the extra paddle
so we can be safe and extra careful.
And I am like the rider
keeping all of them company
because I love them.

 

Henry

Deep inside I am like weights
making people stronger every day,
getting heavier every day,
making people stronger.

 

Kai

My family is like a tortoise.
My dad is like the shell
that protects us.
My mom is like the neck
that guides us through.
My brother is like the bones
that hold us up.
My sister is like the paddles
that make us move,
and I am like the heart
to keep us alive.

 

Keoni

My family is like a taco.
My dad is like the beef
making us juicy and strong.
My mom is like the lettuce
coming just for flavor.
My brother is like the sauce
spicing things up.
My sisters are like the taco shell
holding us together.
And I am like the mouth eating it all
because I love them!

 

Lily

My family is like space.
My mom is like the stars
looking after us in space or in the world.
My dad is like the sun
making the bright morning.
My brother is like mars
making us warm with my dad.
My pets are like the clouds up in the sky
making it not too bright.
And I am like the world
making everyone smile.

 

Marina

My family is like a plant
growing tall and strong.
My mom is like the stem
holding us up and stable.
My dad is like the roots
helping us grow.
My little brother is like
the tiny branches
holding the leaves up
to keep the love all together.
And I am like the leaves
spreading all of the love to the world.

 

Ryan

My family is like a bicycle.
My mom is like the seat
keeping us comfy.
My dad is like the pedals
keeping us moving.
My brother is like the handlebars
to steer us in the right direction.
I am like the wheels
that help us keep moving
through the hard parts

Ms. Aylesworth’s Class

Anton

Deep inside
I am like a piece of candy
trying to make people sweeter.
Deep inside I am a hot summer day
trying to warm people’s hearts.
Deep inside I am binoculars
trying to zoom in on the world.
Deep inside I am a coin
trying to buy things for other people.
Deep inside I am a boa constrictor
squeezing out all the love.

 

Eleanor C.

Deep inside I am like a wolf
howling in the night,
howling for kindness, respect and truth.
Deep inside I am like a flower
blooming out love and kindness,
helping people be sweeter and kinder.

 

Georgia

When you said I was too little
to do things I love
it felt like a tsunami
crushing me with bad feelings.
Would you please be like gentle water
and not hurt me?
Thank you very much.

 

Maisie

Deep inside I am like a stuffy
staying still in a bed
making someone feel safe.

 

Mia

Deep inside I am like a wolf
running free,
howling to give respect
and making people feel
more confident.

 

Max

When you hit me,
it felt like a dry desert full of sticker bushes
poking me on purpose.
Would you please be like an ocean
full of fish instead
and be gentle with me?
Thank you very much.

 

Rosen

When you called me names
it felt like a tornado hit me and scared me.
Would you please be like a butterfly instead
and be gentle with me?
Thank you very much.

 

Sammy

Deep inside I am like a flower
closing up love
and letting out hugs and kisses for everyone,
then love is everywhere
and hate is nowhere.

 

Silas

Deep inside I am like a book
filled with ideas.
Sometimes when people are angry or sad
they could read me
and I could help them feel better.

 

Viraaj

Deep inside I am like a book of piano songs
ready to be played.
Deep inside I like a hidden culture
ready to explode its glory to the earth.
Deep inside I am like a chest of discoveries
ready to be revealed.
Deep inside I am like hundreds of inventions
ready to show their wonders.

 

Ben

Deep inside I am like a tsunami
destroying everything bad
to make room for the good things in life.
Deep inside I am like a mirror
reflecting everything while taking things in.
Deep inside I am like letters
trying to make a word
but not understanding what it is.
Deep inside I am like the ocean
trying to go with the flow . . .
Eleanor A.
Deep inside I am like a star
shining love down to earth
making people have no hate in their hearts.
Deep inside I am like a bucket
pouring love and hope
on my family and friends.

 

Filip

Deep inside I am like a red rose
blooming in spring by the sun,
giving off love to my family and friends,
making them feel warm and loved inside.

 

Jack

Deep inside I am like a cup
satisfying someone’s love,
making people happy.
Deep inside I am like a squid
squirting happiness.
Deep inside I am like a book
waiting to be opened
and spill my story.

 

Mathias

When you closed the door behind me,
it felt like nobody liked me.
Would you please include me?
Thank you very much.

 

Marin

Deep inside I am like the sun
trying to light up the world.
Deep inside I am like the Christmas spirt
trying to light up everyone.
Deep inside I am like a poem
trying to write all the love
and erasing all the hate.

 

Micah

Deep inside I am like the sun
shining on people
making their lives brighter.
Deep inside I am like a garbage truck
picking up hate and throwing it out.
Deep inside I am like a bomb
exploding hate out of earth.

 

Seamus

When you hurt me
it felt like I was in a dark room.
Would you please be like a night light
and make the room light?
Thank you very much.

 

Sophie

Deep inside I am like a soccer ball
rolling out hate and kicking in love.
Deep inside I am like a flower
blooming friendship
and raining out the hate of the bullies.
Deep inside I am like wind
whistling good feelings.

 

Vivi

When you hit me
it felt like I was in a ring of fire
trapped and slowly burning down.
Would you please be like water
and save me?
Thank you very much.

 

 

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