Student Writing Wednesday: Alan’s “Everyday In South Land I See”

“I smell smoke and fresh grass and cold air”

Everyday In South Land I See
Alan I.

Everyday as I walk to school
I walk through the streets King and Budlong
I see gangsters and some street thugs smoking
some of them look way too young to be smoking
on the corner of Budlong and King

I see a pink house next to an alley with a white fence
I see a young kid being handcuffed by a police officer outside his front porch
I can remember the kid, he was in my Algebra 1 class in 9th grade but he dropped out
I hear people yelling and talking, police sirens
cops, radios, and a SWAT team raiding the house
I smell smoke and fresh grass and cold air

Everyday when I look closer I see good things
I see immigrants working and making my community better
I see people cutting their lawns on King and Budlong
I see mothers and fathers taking their kids to school
I see people painting over graffiti
I hear people saying “Good morning” and people watering their plants and grass
I smell fresh grass being cut and fresh cold air

“I see immigrants working and making my community better”

Written by the students in Ms. Ok’s Physics classes at Manual Arts High School, No Traffic in Space, takes us from neighborhood sidewalks to the stars in the Milky Way through poetry, flash fiction, and essay. Students inspire readers to look carefully at their environments and engage with the everyday science. Newton’s Laws shape our movement, inelastic collision explains our friendships, and environments—like people—are subject to change.

Read more about 826LA’s In-Schools program, the 826LA Writers’ Room at Manual Arts High School, and volunteer opportunities here

You can purchase No Traffic in Space at the Time Travel Mart here.

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