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

is hourglass,

skin of spruce

encasing space

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.

Summer rain,

drip drop


on hot summer days

like the way

ice cream melts on your tongue

and the

cold splashes of sea salt water

lick away at the heat on your skin,

she was just the same,

but she was still


Rain, rain,

dripping dropping

on grass and dirt

and glass window panes

like prison guards,

locking them in place

or like

small tears

the sky had been

too tired

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.

When suddenly

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


for a




They said that I couldn’t draw anything,

but the trees,

the landscapes,

the faces.

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

and tripped

over my cleats.

They said that I couldn’t wear jeans

to the piano recital,

so I put on my only dress

and hid

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.


The bows of trees shuddered

in the wind,

and Grandpa’s hand

made a fist

around my forearm.

“Phoebe, dear,”

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;

the knuckles,

pallid pockmarks

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

of rain,

like steel bullets,

against the roof.

“Grandpa, it’s okay.”

I begged,

“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.


You tell of burning stars falling

and devouring

each other


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.

Yet you

you do it every,

every, every, time.