Love Is in the Air

We’ll not wax poetic about the meaning of love. Instead, we bring you a few young writers who, with their poems, remind us of love’s beauty and its quirks. First, you’ll read a poem by Jessie, a fourth grader from Ortega Elementary School and the winner of our Spring 2011 poem card contest. You can also find Jessie’s poems in restaurants across Austin today. Who knows, you may find one tonight in your check at the end of your date. Next, you’ll read a poem from Cesar, a fourth-grader from Zavala Elementary School and a finalist in our contest. Cesar wrote the poem first in Spanish, and we’ve translated it into English, but we’re proud to present both versions of his piece. Finally, a poem from Viviana of Del Valle Middle School, another finalist in our contest. We hope these poems inspire you look for love everywhere, in all things.

Love Is

Love is like friendship, but
it is a little bit stronger.
If a man gives a woman
a heart and a very red ruby ring,
that shows his love for her.
Sometimes, if they go on a date
and they love each other, the man
might ask if she wants to share
a plate of chocolate– and whip-cream–
covered strawberries. At the end,
his heart will beat as loud as a bass drum.

Jessie, fourth grade, Ortega Elementary School

From a Dog to His Love, the Beach

The dog said to the beach, “You are a rose.
You are a wheel that makes me dizzy.
You are like a chair of gold.
You are a little mouse who hides from me,
and you are someone very intelligent.
You are like a key that opens all the doors of my house,
a jacket that covers me in the cold so I don’t get sick.
You are a little donkey that carries me everywhere,
and a computer with Cool Math.
You are like a flower bud barely born.
You are a little girl who exercises to get strong.
You are a table that holds all my things.”

De un perro a su amor, la playa

El perro le dijo a la playa, “Eres una rosa.
Eres una rueda que me marea.
Eres como una silla de oro.
Eres una ratoncita que se esconde de mí,
y eres una persona muy inteligente.
Eres como una llave que me abre las puertas de mi casa,
una chamarra que me cubre del frío para que no esté enfermo.
Eres una burrita que me lleva a todos lados,
y una computadora que me mete en Cool Math.
Eres como una florecita que apenas nació.
Eres una niña que hace ejercicios para estar fuerte.
Eres una mesa que me deja poner todas mis cosas.”

Cesar, fourth grade, Zavala Elementary School

Dear Harp…

Dear Arpa (Harp),

You sing the lullaby of sorrow.
I can feel your pain
and suffering.
I can tell that your wounds
haven’t healed.
Not even my comfort helps.
I won’t be able to catch you
when you fall from the clouds
with my tiny arms.

Rana (Frog)

Viviana, sixth grade, Del Valle Middle School


Fall Poem Card Contest

As our kitchens heat up and families gather together, we take comfort in fall’s arrival—not just the turkey and football or long hours at the dinner table, but the cooler weather, the changing colors, and the significance we lend to it all.

This week, we dedicate Unbound to three writers who beautifully captured the essence of the fall season. Please meet our winner and two finalists for the annual Badgerdog Fall Poem Contest. The winner, Rey from Zavala Elementary, will have his poem published on a card that will be distributed to local restaurants. Patrons dining out this week will find the card tucked inside their checks.

Congratulations to all three writers! Their words truly transport us to those special moments that appear as the year draws to a close.

Winner: Fall

Every fall, I have hot cocoa and mushy s’mores.
Fall reminds me of warm, snug times. Sometimes
I run outside and do chores. I rake the leaves.
My mom is happy until I jump in! I love when
the leaves float around like people in the water
falling down slowly. Sometimes my brother and I
play leaf tag. When it is really windy, we play under
the big trees, and if a leaf touches you, you are it.
But most of all, I think of fall as a time when my family
can get together.

Rey, fourth grade, Zavala Elementary School

Finalist: Family of Thanksgiving

I like raking leaves with my cousin. We describe
the leaves as our family. When there are leaves
on the ground, I think of my dad being lazy. When
there are leaves on a tree, I think of my little brother
holding on to my mom. When a leaf falls, we think
of his dad as if he’s flying in a jet for the Air Force.
When we make a big pile of leaves, we think
of every one of us going to Thanksgiving.

Jerome, fourth grade, Ortega Elementary School

Finalist: Fall!

Fall! It’s what makes me want to play
a long board game. Fall makes me want
to sleep in late. It’s what relieves me
of humid days. I know during fall we can
walk home without being baked. Long
nights and hot cocoa evenings. It tells
me to be just me. It inspires me to try harder.
It’s fresh. Everything looks warmly colored,
and it brings my family together again.

Aubrey, fourth grade, Zavala Elementary School

I Am a Vampire

As we carve our jack o’ lanterns, put out the candy and cobwebs, and piece together our last-minute costumes, let’s pause for a moment to imagine Halloween from a slightly different perspective. This week, Zavala fourth-grader Aubrey allows us to experience a night in the life of a vampire. Congratulations, Aubrey, on a sophisticated and surprising persona poem!

It’s very dark inside my tomb.
It’s musty, dark, and damp.
Slowly, it gets colder, and I stretch my folded cape.
The door slowly opens, and the church begins to sing—
the song of midnight’s ringing coming slowly under wing.
I take flight as a bat, and I begin to hunt.
What can I find?
Will it be appetizing for brunch?
I chase a dog around the block.
I eat an old, old man.
I feel the sun is rising, and now
I have returned to my tomb.
It is very dark inside my tomb—
It’s musty, dark, and damp . . .
I slowly close my eyes
and wait for it again.

Aubrey, fourth grade, Zavala Elementary