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Springfield teen on ‘getting whatever I need to get out’ through poetry

A picture close up of a note that says "why do i write? I write to embrace, to speak on what my mind verbally can't say. - Jayden"
Beth Dixon
Responses from student poets at the Springfield School of Innovation to the prompt ‘Why do I write’?

Note from the producer: Today, we showcase student poets from the School of Innovation in Springfield. Their poetry is tender, troubled, heartbreaking, and sometimes silly. You will also hear the students reflect on their creative process and tell you what their poems are really about. And just a warning: some of the poems you're about to read discuss serious topics such as grief, racism, and gun violence, and also use adult language.

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Dayton Youth radio logo

Evie Thompson: I write because of how I feel inside. I can't get it out when I'm talking to people or when people ask me if I'm okay, so I just ignore the question.

Pen in my hand by Evie Thompson

To the pen I'm writing with in my hand

I know it's hard to get it out of my head

Within my head are my deep thoughts

Sometimes I want to scream and shout

But I can't let them out

So I shut the door behind me

Where a room is filled with darkness

I sit in the middle of the room

With nothing

But then I grab a piece of paper and start writing

How my thoughts hurt me in the past

I guess you could say I finished the task

Now I can stop hiding behind a mask

to tell people how I feel

in a darkness that was filled

Jayden Gaston: As a kid, my mom would have to go to work early or whatever, so I would have to walk.

When you're walking, you see so much more than just driving by somewhere. I felt at home in nature, at peace.

When I feel at peace, I'm able to write more like, ‘The sky is so pretty’ and then describe in my own words why it feels that way, or I write about playing as a kid.

Writing is a nostalgic feeling for me. It's getting whatever I need to get out on top of expressing myself with so many different words.

I wanted to touch on a topic that everybody could possibly relate to.

I mean, gun violence seems to happen a lot.

Guns by Jayden Gaston 


your whole life loved ones will say, don't play with guns

they're not toys

but yet they always seem to buy you the toys, the ones to play with other little boys laughing and giggling will soon turn into an awaking nightmare

as two mothers try to put the pieces together as to what went wrong

one son behind the bullet another one on the end

both mothers not able to see their sons again.

how did it change?

how did it go from boys playing a game to one dead and another riding the devil's plane?


that's your answer right there, right in your face

but you choose to ignore the fact that it's never going to change

it always feels like a generational thing

little boys dying, mothers crying

it feels like we always seem to fall into this repeating cycle over and over again

i have a fear

a fear my brother's not going to grow old due to a bullet making his blood cold, a fear he won't get to live out his life due to an unguided soul making the wrong choice one night

it seems many others can relate, but won’t speak up and attempt to keep little boys safe

These poems and interviews were recorded in the library at the School of Innovation in Springfield. Special thanks to Beth Dixon from Wellspring and Kathy Lee, the principal at the School of Innovation.

Truth Garrett is a dynamic poet, multidisciplinary artist, and dedicated reporter for the Yellow Springs Newspaper. He produces Dayton Youth Radio at WYSO.
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