Welcome to the CLASS OF 2018 edition of Lexington High School’s online anthology, 2:25 PM, which features original poetry from over 400 LHS sophomores and is dedicated to the memory of Bill Tapply (a graduate of LHS, a beloved LHS teacher for 28 years and a successful author) and to The William G. Tapply Memorial Fund. In our sidebar you can find poems by scrolling down the alphabetized table of contents, or by doing a search directly for the author’s name or by poem category.
The Student Publishing Program is proud to publish all the students here along with a poem read by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins for the Student Publishing Program’s Greatest Living Writers Project – a collection of free, on-demand video resources sharing the art and writing advice of more than 500 of America’s top poets.
Click the video below to hear Billy Collins read his poem, “Introduction to Poetry,” (or click here to read just the text), and then scroll down for eight editor-selected student poems – just a few of the hundreds that resonated with us across a variety of subjects and styles, auspicious highlights of what readers can expect when exploring LHS Class of 2018’s anthology more deeply.
Lara Bursal // CELLO
a row of fingers
placed delicately around her neck
do not elicit a scream,
for they do not choke her
—quite the contrary,
they conjure up
a sound that
tastes like spiced wine,
rings in the ears,
and settles somewhere between
the sternum and the spine.
her hollow figure
skin of spruce
that, in its vacancy,
holds a promise.
Kimia Abedi // ABSTRACT
Let them be as a still life painting
always admired, attractive, perfect,
but confined to the strokes of the real world.
I’d rather be an odd, abstract painting,
to have deep, outlandish meaning,
to hold the power of questionable expression,
to be unique to every color, line, marking,
or step outside reality
into the vast expanse of a wandering mind.
I’d rather be unacknowledged, and if
then completely invisible,
than to be a still life painting,
exactly replicating everything that is seen,
where taking risks is deemed incorrect
by the critical onlookers.
I’d rather be weird, unique, busy with colors
than inert with the confinements of the r e a l w o r l d.
If I could leap off of the earth into boundless imagination
I’d rather be an abstract painting.
Hayeun K. // RAIN RAIN
Her parents named her after rain.
on hot summer days
like the way
ice cream melts on your tongue
cold splashes of sea salt water
lick away at the heat on your skin,
she was just the same,
but she was still
on grass and dirt
and glass window panes
like prison guards,
locking them in place
the sky had been
to keep and hold
and whisper to.
Devin Wells // WEB
She spins and twirls and whirls and hurls
She loops and hoops and paratroops
She crafts and graphs along the shaft.
Surely her web is almost finished
Her spirits not once diminished.
A fly has been caught
The fight has been fought
And the spider has hit the jackpot.
So the fly wiggles and jiggles
It yells from its cell
But he stays in his ill-fated spell.
It’s a putrid business
A useless cycle for any who witness
But she appreciates any fly’s visits.
She’s still whirling and hurling
still looping and hooping
still crafting and graphing
Fiona L. // THEY SAID THAT I COULDN’T
They said that I couldn’t draw anything,
but the trees,
They said that I had to write
in complete sentences,
so I found a noun, a verb, an idea
and combined the clauses.
They said that I couldn’t use my hands in soccer,
so I dropped the ball
over my cleats.
They said that I couldn’t wear jeans
to the piano recital,
so I put on my only dress
behind the curtains.
They said that art couldn’t be anything but pretty,
to be perfectly symmetrical and shaded realistically,
so my pencil dragged along gray graphite
and I crumpled
my collection of scribbles into the trash.
They said that I couldn’t wander
off the trail, into the field of brilliant yellow flowers.
Their petals turned to marvel at the sun,
whose intangible rays promised freedom,
but I focused my eyes
on the dirt path
and I slumped
among the trees.
They said that I couldn’t.
So I didn’t.
Alexandria Snyders Dykeman // TIME THAT SUMMER
I watched time closely that summer.
I sat next to it for hours
cramped between bodies and luggage
in our beat up jeep.
Time steamed on the grill
along with corn on the cob
and plump steaks.
My nana knit it into a sweater
the one I was destined to wear next winter
and my papa spread it onto his burger
at the baseball game each week.
Time lounged a while on the sand
next to my towel and sunblock
before paddling out to sea
on the boogie board I dragged behind me.
It lay on the plate
beside the tomato and mozzarella
and drifted a top the glass of lemonade-
a meal for flies.
Time ran swiftly
through the graveyard down the street
as my cousins and I played manhunt
until midnight. When summer ended,
I tried to hide it
underneath piles of clothes
not in my suitcase. I squeezed it
into fists on my hips
as I told my mother I wasn’t leaving yet
and by yet I meant ever
because that summer I watched time closely.
I liked the way it meandered along
strolling at its own pace.
They say you can’t control time
but I swear I did.
And when summer ended
I had to hand it back
to the ticking clock’s greedy hands.
Phoebe Bruce // THE THUNDER THAT SHOOK MY GRANDPA’S SHOULDERS
The bows of trees shuddered
in the wind,
and Grandpa’s hand
made a fist
around my forearm.
he rasped abruptly,
as the rain
carved careful rivers
in the mud.
“You should be leaving now,”
and I nodded my head—
but I did not pry my arm away,
and he did not let it go.
His wiry fingers clenched tight
around my wrist;
against my skin.
“Phoebe,” he said again—
and I understood.
“Grandpa, it’s okay,”
I called out through the dark;
but my voice was lost
to the drumming
like steel bullets,
against the roof.
“Grandpa, it’s okay.”
“You’re not there anymore.”
You’re not there
You are not.
But the words I’d said still echoed
in my ears.
And Grandpa’s hand stayed clenched
around my own.
And I watched the first, lean Tupelo tree
shatter and fall
in the wind.
Cassidy T. // ACROSS THE STARS: A LOVE LETTER TO A LOVE THEME FROM STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES
You tell of burning stars falling
You, are sweet and haunting.
Your melody begins on a minor sixth
up, then a tri-ple-let down.
It is the oboe against
the rustling starscape of strings until
they claim the song for themselves
with the cascade of a harp.
You are the story of sweeping
love that burns galaxies
whole, punctuated with sighs and brass
You rise and fall as naturally
as chests with breaths, with more
grace and art than water claiming its stain
on a sandy shore.
Your triplets are as steady as the turn
of a galaxy around a single soul.
I have never quite managed the art of
pinching into an audience’s mind
and drawing a shard of their heart out.
you do it every,
every, every, time.