Writing Catalog

Nyah Rain Palmer

Grade: 9

North Royalton High School

Instructor: Stacie Leatherman




i used to be so eagerly hungry for life
i used to drag my little feet going to bed because every moment i wasn't awake
was a moment i mourned
i was a starved man who'd just had his first taste of something sweet and
god i couldn't get enough;
i sunk my baby teeth into this world and i
sucked it dry
too soon
too fast

now i sit in a hollow husk and
try to scrape meat from the bones—
but there is nothing left for me here
so i dig into myself

sometimes i think growing up is synonymous with learning to cope—
kids stomp their feet and cry at the injustices of their worlds;
we must learn to take deep breaths and
get back to work

children have the least autonomy of anyone and yet somehow are
infinitely more free:
what kind of truth is that to stomach?

at some point we will all tell our children to enjoy their youths
though we all know
none of us listened.
i guess that's just the cycle of life:
i sit in an empty ribcage and tell you to
make the meat last
but we're all starving
and none of us are patient creatures.

I'm Still Here


I'm Still Here

two hundred years from now someone calls your name, not because they borrowed it
from you, but because they heard it somewhere and just couldn't get it out of their
head. it's not yours anymore.

one day this place will be dust or ash or new moss on the forest floor & time will
smooth her finger over every crack in the drywall and smudge on the glass.
sometimes i feel like i can tear through time like tissue paper where it thins in places
and reach into that future, far off or maybe not that far at all. maybe i'll live to see it
and not just skim my knuckles along the surface of it, or maybe ill be moss by that
time too.

two hundred years from now no one knows your name. maybe you were cremated
and thrown in the sea or maybe time wore away at the carvings of your grave; it
doesn't matter anymore. you were in no history books and there were no songs
written about you; your name was in no movie credits nor signed at the corner of a
canvas. what matters is you are forgotten.

forgotten, but your great-great-great grandson taps the same pattern with his fingers
when he's anxious. forgotten, but there's a daughter of a daughter of an old friend
who has your banana bread recipe and no one can quite remember where it came
from. forgotten, but your initials are carved into an abandoned stone bridge
somewhere, saying i was here, i was here, i was here, and though the river has long
run dry, teenagers still sneak out to meet there & try to conjure up your face in their

two hundred years from now someone calls your name and you aren't around to
but someone new is, and they have your eyes.