“8” by Joanna Jimenez

Joanna Jimenez (age 13)


8 is an upright infinity sign,
a goldfish, and a snowman
8 is the mask that you can use
to hide away from this rocky reality
It’s the chain that holds me back
from endless choices I know I’d regret.
8 is the age I met my father
and I had to pretend that I wasn’t bothered
Without 8, it would be 7 then 9,
and maybe at the age of 9
I would’ve been prepared to see the man
I was supposed to call dad,
and maybe I would’ve been glad.
Without 8, I’d be stripped of my mask
that I rely on when things get rough.
My goldfish would be down the toilet,
my snowman would melt,
and with it everything I’ve ever felt.

from 2017 Rattle Young Poets Anthology


Why do you like to write poetry?

Joanna Jimenez: “I like poetry because it has made me open up to many things like what my true feelings are and it has made me learn more about myself too. I say it has opened me up to my true feelings because I use to just run away from what I was really feeling. But I have learned that my feelings should be expressed and I express it through my poems. Also I’ve gotten to learn more about myself because with poetry for me I had to think more things through. When I say that or type it I mean I have to think about everything and go into detail about it so my poems come to life and the audience feels the emotion that was going through me while writing that piece.”

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