Welcome to the “CLASS OF 2019” edition of Lexington High School’s online anthology, 2:25 PM, which features original poetry from nearly 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 of this year’s students alongside this poem below by one of America’s top poets, X.J. Kennedy, as well as five editor-selected student poems – just a few of the hundreds that resonated with us across a variety of subjects and styles as highlights of what readers can expect when exploring LHS Class of 2019’s anthology more deeply.

 

X.J. Kennedy // THE PURPOSE OF TIME IS TO PREVENT EVERYTHING FROM HAPPENING AT ONCE

 

Suppose your life a folded telescope
Duration-less, collapsed in just a flash
As from your mother’s womb you, bawling, drop
into a nursing home. Suppose you crash
Your car, your marriage – toddler laying waste
A field of daisies, schoolkid zit-faced teen
With lover zipping up your pants in haste
Hearing your parents’ tread downstairs – all one.

Einstein was right. That would be too intense.
You need a chance to preen, to give a dull
Recital before an indifferent audience
equally slow in jeering you and clapping.
Time takes its time unraveling. But, still,
You’ll wonder when your life ends: Huh? What happened?

Excerpted from In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus: New & Selected Poems (Johns Hopkins University Press).


(X.J. Kennedy is a Lexington resident, author of many poetry books, including recently That Swing: Poems 2008-2016 (Johns Hopkins University Press), and winner of the Robert Frost Medal, a Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Jackson Poetry Prize, and an Award for Excellence from the National Council of Teachers of English. Read his full bio here.)


 

 

D Bhangle   //  ENOUGH

i am too much and too little:
i am too much in this world and yet have too little presence,
i speak too many words and make too little meaning,
i create too much space and too little silence;

i am too much and too little:
i am too much a girl and too little a person,
i give too much refusal and too little assent,
i am too much encumbered in too little gravity;

i am too much and too little:
i have too many ideas swarming in too little a head,
i have too many expectations in too little a coffin,
i wallow in too much self-pity and too little self-doubt;

i am too much and too little:
i work too hard and deserve too little,
i have too much exoticness and too little patriotism,
i speak with too much rage and too little docility;

and my psyche screams where their words imprint,
and my shoulder aches where their puppet-strings attach,
and my head sags where their pebbles hit,
and my heart throbs where it is cleaved in two,
and my eyes look up to see the world– their world–
like a goldfish in a fishbowl and
i blink back
and think– for just a moment–

that perhaps, for me,
I am Enough.

Robert Chen   //  THE SHATTERED MIRROR

The shattered mirror reflects a false reality,
That belies what I see in actuality
But my eyes gloss over these spider web lines,
For they exist in your perspective, yet are absent in mine.

Gazing in the mirror, I see my distorted reflection,
Yet I fail to discern a single sign of imperfection
What was experienced, what words were spoken,
To frame a view so inaccurate, a scene so broken?

Though your mirror, too, contains clear conspicuous cracks
How does one repair what they perceive as intact?
Lean forward, step back, with wings of light aspire
If the cracks remain invisible, continue rising higher.

Or descend down to ground, willful and unmoving
Condemn their shattered mirrors, and be disapproving
As your blindness to the world grows more profound,
Eventually your mirror is reduced to shards on the ground.

The shattered mirror reflects a false reality,
That belies what I see in actuality
But our eyes can discern these spider web lines,
That exist in your perspective, as well as in mine.

Shiv Chandra  //  VINCE LOMBARDI TROPHY

You can see the fingerprints.
These imperfections
Make it perfect.

You can see the hands.
Drained, rough, outstretched
Toward the smooth, brilliant metal.

You can see the faces beaming
The confetti falling
Contagious.

You can see the Team.
Overcome with joy, forgetting they are
Weary from more than 60 minutes of play.

You can see the Game.
The greatest comeback on the greatest stage,
Miraculous.

You can see the Season.
You can see the Dynasty.
You can see the Legacy.

You can see the fingerprints.

Sylvie R.  //  SHADES OF COLD

Droplets of water,
Falling in a line.
A soft summer breeze
Erects the skin, a sign.
An erupting earthquake of chills,
That run up the spine.
And the yellow singing sun,
Perched on a throne of clouds
Beckons you home.
Quick sandy footsteps;
Such a fleeting cold.

White peaks,
A fleecy castle under siege.
Ribbons of snow slip into your mitten,
What a shame.
Nevermind your flushed cheeks
You are beckoned by the game.
Hours spent toiling;
Nature is all there is to tame.
The most innocent cold.

A pair of tired eyes,
Cold toes.
A bitter, silent wind
That bites the nose.
Though everything besides your face
Remains unexposed.
Rays of cold light
Slice through the darkness of night.
And a rumbling yellow bus
Appears in sight;
A mean and relentless cold.

Will Steinfeld  //  5 SECOND RULE

Clear! The bacteria yelled, as the donut hurtled down
With an almighty crash, it thundered to the ground.
As the frosting touched the floor
The countdown began
And the bacteria army prepared to pounce.

Five! Came the digit, the first second of wait.
“Hold!” Yelled the general, “Do not take the bait!”
And yet a brash young bacteria took one step forward.
Not knowing that the consequences were a forever doomed fate.

Four! Came the cry, from a mile up high.
The time of invasion was quickly drawing nigh.
And yet, as they knew, the bacteria had to wait
For the five second rule was by no means a lie.

Three! Was the call, two seconds post fall,
Of the still clean donut, now on the floor of the mall.
With immense will power, the bacteria held back,
Even the one who had had such gall.

And then,
Swooping in,
Came a supernatural force,
The donut was summoned to the heavens.

Such a trophy, such a prize,
So sugary, and of such great size.
And now, it was gone forever.

“Do not hang your heads men, do not despair”
The general’s voice sounded with a noble air.
“I’m proud to say on this here day
That my men are moral and fair.”

As their leader spoke, the bacteria drew up,
They stood tall and with a sense of pride.
For they knew that among them, only a fool
Would violate the sacred Five Second Rule.

 

 

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