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We gladly bring the voices of Ella Austin Community Center’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes to the literary stage.

ascendI rose out of sadness, anger, and why.


I rose like a growing inner being.


I rose like the loaf, a new life.


I rose from not needing a safe place

and inside me was a brand new life

I had longed for a very long time.


Inside of me there was fear

that I did not know how to do this

until I saw the air blow the leaf away.

It was dry but it still had life.


Inside of me there is a free spirit

that will be as bright at the sun—

or my own true color.


From the WIC anthology Like a Phoenix (2008)

Photo courtesy of Bassi Baba


I rose from the ground to the earth,


I rose like a seed sprouting for life.


I rose like air coming out of a jar that has been

closed tightly.


I rose from the depths of impossibility

and inside me there was Hope.


Inside me there was a chance for survival.


Inside me there was precious life.


From the WIC anthology Like a Phoenix (2008)

Photo Courtesy of Hafiz Issadeen

8522901355_96c1bdf450_mHer love pursued, like the dampness of

the morning dew.

She often questioned, but I’d never bother

nor reckon,

but brought more spark and reason to be pursued.

The gloss in her eyes shined bright, much

like the start and the moon.

My touch would raise her temptations—

she was never hesitant against it.

To contemplate of such difficult task, was

like finding love but not making it last.

These words here, these words here that you hear

tonight, are spoken by heart and written down

by mind. (more…)

WIC kids write letters to their future selves—read them all here: Dear Me Letters from WIC Kids


Dear Letters—WIC

2169760673_bc0bb174d9_mI’ve seen day after day

I’ve been tossed around

But yet I still have faith

I get left in the dark

Sometimes not to be found

I’m not worth much

But I still have a smile

Get thrown on the ground

Get lost in a crowd

Lonely in the world

I’m a penny and I’m proud.


From the WIC anthology Words Across the Wire (2013)

Photo Courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski

You walk around looking upshoe

but truly feeling down.

You don’t know how to

handle life right now.

You look left, then right,

but neither way’s bright.


People judge you ‘cause of

how you handle life.

You tell them they ain’t lived

this life,

And haven’t paid

the price.


How about you try

walking in my shoes,

then tell me how to handle

my life?


From the WIC anthology Words Across the Wire (2013)

Photo courtesy of Gonzalo Salas