National PTSA Reflections Competition:

“White or Wrong”  – Advanced to the IPPC Level

“Wide Open World” – Advanced to the IPPC Level

“With or Without” – Advanced to the IPPC Level, District 36 Level

“Whispers of Wind” – Advanced to the IPPC Level, District 36 Level, State of Illinois Level


Neuqua Valley High School’s Literary Magazine, The Crusader:

“Whispers of Wind” – Published 2008-2009




White or Wrong.

I am white.

And I wonder if I was wrong

to ever have loved you.

You are not as gentle

as you used to be,

when you would hold my hand

and lead me away from the puddles

when it rained.

You’d walk with me,

promising my mother that you’d bring me home


You are different.

Cocky and defiant,

not soft and loyal.

When you see me you don’t look at me

the same way.

You laugh and tease.

But I hold onto these moments

when we speak.

Looking for a piece of you

that I remember.

I am white.

And I wonder if I’m wrong

to remember the times we had,

and smile when I think

about your clothes

sagging to your knees,

how you scared me at first

with your confidence

and ‘swagger‘.

But when I opened up to you,

you held my heart in your hands

so gently

and I saw the real you.


Now you break my heart

and walk past me

grabbing the fingertips of someone else.

But I remember you

in my arms.

I am white.

And I wonder if I’m wrong

to think that if I was


you’d still love me.

I never used to have to prove myself

to you.

A kiss on your cheek,

soft and rich like chocolate,

would satisfy you.

But now you go from

girl to girl

looking for something.

Are you looking for me?

Because I’m right here.

I am white.

And I wonder if I was wrong

to ever have compared our hands

when they were intertwined,

admiring the contrast of colors.

One innocent and one mysterious.

You used to tell me everything

about your life;

your adventures and wishes.

And when I would speak to you

you’d hear my words,

but also my feelings,

and you’d understand me

better than anyone else.

But now you barely speak to me.

You used to wish that someone

would listen.

Well, I‘m right here.

I am listening.

I am white.

And I wonder why

I get shivers

and can’t breathe

when I hear your voice.

You grab my attention

with one strong gaze

and I can’t break away.

People tell me to get over you.

You’re just one person.

And I can’t hold onto you forever.

But I remember how we could talk for hours

and you would tell me stories

when I’d lay in your arms.

And though you’ve changed,

and it seems like you’ve



I know that somewhere inside

is the real you.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re


whether you’re black.

I will love you,

for who I know you are.

Whether people say I’m white or wrong.




Wide Open World

Standing here,

I don’t know

what I want

or where I’m going.

The seasons are changing

and the leaves are blowing

yet I’m here


There’s the rush of people

all with places to see

and things to do.

Here I am again


Where am I?

People ask what I want.

My dream

and I don’t have one

only to sit here

and watch the world

pass me by

but enjoy

every moment of it

before its gone.

I have no goal

no purpose

no drive

just a longing

to understand

all that’s out there,

to grasp it.

The sun goes down

the moon comes up

and I watch the stars

so beautiful

yet no one sees.

They’re all too busy

and it makes me sad

that they don’t understand

little wonders as this.

Many things will

pass them by.

So I watch sun and

feel the rain upon my face

because I have no vision

for the future

just the steps in front of me.

And life goes on

yet I stand here

because I don’t know

where I’m going

and  that’s okay by me.

It’s a wide open world.

With or Without

With or without a voice

you can still hear me,

softly singing

to your heart.

Or whispering in your ear

tickling, sending shivers

down your back.

And where it curves,

you hear the quiet of my breath

with or without a sound.

With or without your eyes,

you can still see me

when you dream.

I’m running in the field

where we used to lay.

You see my smiling face

and my hair spilling

down my shoulders.

You see the twinkle in my eyes,

and the skin you touched.

And you see my hand in yours

with or without sight.

With or without a heart

there’s an empty space

that burns a hole

and aches so deep

but you don’t understand


A shallow bleeding

lacking emotion.

There’s nothing there

but you still feel me

with our without love.

With or without a hand,

you still reach for me

and press me against the warmth

of your chest.

And I rest there.

You grab onto my heart

and cover me in love.

And you take a hold of me,

with or without touch.

And with or without us

there’s that rush of emotion

when you think about

me and you,


and my fingers slipping into yours.

Or as you drive past the places

where we used to be,

thinking about the changes.

And the breeze that blows across your face

is like a sign.

And you see that somehow

you must learn to survive

with or without me.





Whispers of Wind

When I wonder why

I’m here

or what my purpose is,

I wait for the whispers

of the wind

to tell me

of laughs and loves

I‘m longing to listen to.

And when the waters

of the sea

steady and soften,

and no ripples run

over the serene surface,

I wade in the water,

watching the waves

slide slowly over my skin.

And I watch the willow trees

dance in the drifts.

Each leaf leaning in the lush

branches of the beautiful tree,

holding with hope,

for life,

and waiting for the whispers

of the wind

to take them to where the birds wake

and call for worms wiggling in the soil.

And I feel the rush of the wind

waiting for me in the water,

Waiting for when I walk

onto the sand,

so the wind can send shivers

that swell upon my spine.

And I hear the whispers of wind

and I wonder why

I’m here.

Or what my purpose is.


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