School Through My Eyes

© Shilynn Marshall Original Photography

I wrote this poem in my junior year of high school: “Five Minutes.” It describes the deeper meaning of school for a lot kids, and if not a lot of kids- at least what it means for me


Five Minutes

5 minutes

How do they expect us to flourish when all we see is guns up to our heads.

How are we supposed to even begin to see our goal when all we see is the space between the trigger and your finger getting smaller?

Blocking our vision.

You put a seed in a dark place and allow it light 5 minutes out of the day.

Although not much, that flower WILL grow.

It doesn’t matter the circumstances.

As long as that flower even has a glimpse of the possibilities out there: it will grow.

You take a kid where their night time melodies is screaming and glass breaking.

Triggers getting pulled on their daddy.

Your sister coming to you for protection.

How do you begin to get your mind right from that?

You wake up everyday and go to school.

That’s your 5 minutes of daylight.

That’s where you get to see all your possibilities.

That’s how you’ll flourish.

Not every flower gets those 5 minutes.

Not every kid gets a textbook.

But we still go to these white man schools to learn their rules- and we still can’t play the game right.

Sometimes a flower has to get around rocks



and roots…

Just to begin to see the possibilities before the trigger gets pulled

I wrote this poem during a time of my life where I didn’t know how I was going to get through each day. I woke up afraid of what would be next. My life was spun around and around as each day came as a new dreadful surprise. The one thing I knew was always there for me: school. A place where I was safe from everything beyond those walls, I had endless possibilities at my finger tips, and all I had to do was focus on myself. That is the beauty of school. If you take your attention away from everything about it which annoys you, you’re left with something beautiful. A place solely meant to help you flourish. A community of people working together who want to see you accomplish amazing things- whether you believe it or not.

I hope you enjoyed this personal piece.

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