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These pieces are selected for publication by YWP Staff, mentors and this site's Community Leaders. If you wish to participate in the selection, contact Susan Reid.


Mar 18

prove me wrong

i pray that you prove me wrong. 

i hate being wrong. 

but what you have,

behind your metallic smile,

is stronger than my impulses to 

always be proven correct. 

please prove me wrong. 

i do trust you, believe me, i do,

but it’s his soul that beat you black and blue.... darling,

he gave you that bruise upon your arm, 

and you let him bandage the marks 

with a piece of scotch tape so 

please my love,  know that it is not you, but it is him that i do not trust. And if i’m standing by you, dressed in that dove colored fabric as you approach him with tears on your plush cheeks, i will smile, as you proved me wrong. I pray that you prove me wrong. 
Mar 08
lana.W's picture

Tales From a Storm Shelter

Listen to the wind.
Like a man who has sinned,
It thrashes and screams and shouts.
Our hopes may have thinned
but it's only the wind.
Let go now of any and all doubts.

The heavens now cry,
As trees and leaves fly.
But children are calmed and regaled.
So worry not why,
Just let the clouds cry.
You're safe now, the doors have been nailed.

Sam put that down!
Sweet Emma don't frown.
This storm will be all over soon
We’re all safe for now.
Then we’ll all go lay down
Beneath the pale light of the moon.

It’s just one more hour
Till we don’t have to cower.
And the sun is shining again.
The earth will then flower,
In this short, golden hour.
There's no need to fret, my friend.

Mar 01
fiction 2 comments challenge: Alone

House of Life

         The house was quiet, devoid of human life. It had been an hour since the humans had left to go on a road trip. The house began to stir, quite literally. The books perched upon the bookshelf yawned and came to life. The dishes in the cupboard carefully climbed out and began to roam around. The small, unlit candles jumped from their table and rolled into the living room. The reclining chairs and couch remained stagnant but alive now nonetheless. Every small, mobile object made its way into the living room. They seemed to be hosting a meeting, only talking amongst themselves. The pet cats that were roaming about saw the previously inanimate objects now moving around and speaking, and they yowled in confusion, scrambling to hide downstairs, dodging some small cat toys ironically hopping up the stairs.
Feb 18

A Dream of Broken Promises

 They say that when we dream, it’s caused by slow brain waves creating narratives that are a mixture of the days events and our imaginations. That these fancy imagines, designed for mental recovery, are of our own creation. But if that is true, somebody tell me why every time my head falls to it’s pillow and my eyes flutter shut, I see it. And why every time I wake up, my mind is full of memories of something that never was.
 I see an old, run-down, wooden shelter, held together by a few nails and planks of wood, glowing in golden afternoon light. I see long, silky, grass and soaring mountains off in the distance. I am confused, always confused, for this is a place I know not, I have never set foot on the ground here.
Feb 15
H20.hollym's picture

On the Anniversary of Parkland

On the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Parkland High,
I think about big things:
of love and trust, peace and courage,
of fear, violence, and hatred.
I think of problems, solutions. 
I think about humans-
our motivations, wants, needs. 
Our weaknesses
our challenges
our strengths.
And I think about lives bled out by bullet wounds
administered by weapons of mass destruction.

We have all heard of numerous tragedies
that continue to be repeated.
We all have some sort of tally in our minds.
And despite a lot of people's stances on gun control,
I don't think a great number of people exist
who are far from hurtened 
when these homicides are committed.
Yet overwhelmingly some semblance of a solution
has not been secured
and largely because, I think, 
of a lack of trust in our government.
A gun is an instrument of power.
Feb 10
megabaker's picture

Today the Baby Crawled on Me

by Toby Baker-Rouse

Today the baby crawled on me 
With kisses and with drool
My mother brought him up the stairs
To get me up for school

Today the dog, she jumped on me
She sat upon my head
My mother brought her up the stairs 
To get me out of bed

Today my sister woke me up
With stomping and a yell
She thumped her way down all the stairs
Louder than alarm bells

Today my brother jumped on me
My blankets he did take
My mother sent him up the stairs 
To see I was awake

Today my mother sang to me
As she is apt to do
It's very loud and all off key
But gets me up for school.

Today nobody woke me up
I slept till almost noon
I wore pajamas, read and played
But Monday comes too soon.
Feb 06
MaggieClark's picture


I stare at the young puppy. His eyes reflect the light, and his tongue wags freely about his mouth. “I’ll think about it” I whisper, the puppy paws at  the cage and its face fills with dread, as I turn in the other direction. I look back and the puppy, it has already forgotten my face. He chases his tail, never once thinking about the maybe home, that he maybe had.
Jan 27

Icy Silence, Water and Sight

Everything is icy when you dive underwater
It leaves you no time to think, to wonder whether you made the right choice
It leaps into your skeleton
You are suspended in what only you can feel 
Opening your eyes
Everything is blurry 
Green and blue
Your eyes sting, and are closed once again
Blind, you propel yourself through the bubbles that dance all over your skin
They waltz with the goosebumps that cover you

Smooth and silky, wanders and caresses you
You hear nothing
You are alone
You are singular, you are infinite
You are beautiful
Any sound is muffled
As your hair floats around
It haloes your face
Brushes your cheek
Your eyelashes

Your toes brush the rough mush of the bottom
Stretching, you descend
Kneeling, you listen
These are the last moments
That you will hear
Jan 14
hannah.banana23's picture

My life through someone else's eyes

I like to think
I am invincible 
but sometimes I am not invincible to the words
that follow me around 

I live my life on wheels
four, to be exact
and I am used to it
but some people are not
they think I am not able...
just because I have a DISability

They stare and when I see them stare 
they pretend that they haven't been looking 
but inside, I know they have
and when I walk they seem surprised 
like I am sick and can't ever walk
but I CAN and sometimes 
I feel judged

They say things like,
"She can't run, let's wait for her,"
but I want to show them
just how fast I can fly. 
Jan 10

Hearts and Mustard

"The doctor said his artery...oh hon, did he say artery or valve...?"

My grandfather, who is sitting directly next to my grandmother, shrugs as he takes a monstrous bite out of his Whopper. 
The thin paper rattles in his hands as a spurt of mustard decisively takes residence on his upper lip. 
He chews as my grandmother continues her story, turning her body towards my mother and I. 

"Anyway, the doctor said his artery, or valve, was shaped like a heart, now isn't that just beautiful?"

I smile, because I'm looking at the mustard. Yes, it is beautiful, grandma. Very beautiful. 

Jan 01
Maisie N's picture

Slow Dance

You watch your life fly by through a window.
I stare at it emptily through a screen,
Preferring to watch rather than participate
In a life I have never felt, only seen.
Years pass and we grow up.
Things change, friends leave.
We say goodbye and then hello.
One thousand, two thousand nineteen.

You better slow down,
Dance steady for a while
Because life is too short.
To fight time is futile.
Waltzes last longer
When held close with a smile.
So dance like a lover
Rather than a child.

Take a breath, you're doing fine.
Place your hands on my waist
And I will keep time.
You'll get better with age
Like a fine, red wine.
Just let the music swell
And know you are alive.

One more step toward me
And we'll be right in line.
So come a little closer
Put your lips on mine.
Nothing feels so perfect
Right here at midnight
Jan 01
helen_goodyear's picture

Black Holes

What happens, class

When a star dies?

I know

My hand shows it

Flying in the air

Casting a shadow upon those

Who know

how to sleep

I know

Says the red circled A

On my papers

Creating a red aura

On those who ate breakfast this morning

And the last

I know

Says the bags under my eyes

And the bags slung over my shoulder

Filled with textbooks

I know

Because I pushed that her out of my weekend

I know

Because I told him I didn’t have time

I know

Because I spend so much time making them proud

That they don’t see me

They don’t see the real me

Because she's hiding behind  

A computer


A deadline


A report card

I couldn’t find her
Dec 17


Dec 12
poem 0 comments challenge: General
rubinl's picture


Every time the snow falls down
Elegant snowflakes dance to the ground
Though each one is different and very small
It doesn't really matter at all
So why do we look at just their skin
When so much more lies within

We see their icy crystal form
But fail to notice what matters more
They may not be the same at all
But in the end that fact is small
They are as different as they are alike
But should all be the same when it comes to flight

Every time the snow falls down
Elegant snowflakes dance to the ground
Though each one is different and very small
It doesn't really matter at all
So why do we look at just their skin
When so much more lies within.

Dec 07
joseph.deffner's picture


Dec 02
joseph.deffner's picture


The brittle air encases anyone who steps out
The soft snowflakes brush your skin and get stuck in your hair
The winter is beautiful but brutal

The cold came swiftly to Vermont
In early November it was already turning young girl’s cheeks pink

The snow came soon after
Making the state a winter wonderland

Snowball fights were held on the green
Girls against boys, of course

Snow angels are sprinkled in yards
And the big hills had sled marks all over.

Nov 26

Confessions of the Broken Hearted

I am a thief. 

I have stolen
time so that 
it stretches like
pizza dough; 
I have hid it in my pockets
like a stolen chocolate. 
I have melted and 
molded it to fit
the shape of 
my palm, 
I have stolen 
I stole it to 
make the 
seconds feel like minutes
and the minutes feel
like hours and
the hours feel like days and
the days
feel like

I have stolen 
time so that 
it bends and 
ripples to go by
my rules, so that
we'll never have to say
so that
I'll never have 
to kiss your 
cold cheek
one last time,
as tears
create oceans
on my face,
and tissues become
paper sailboats, 
lost in the
storm of my sadness, 
I. Steal. Time. 

So that it stops, 
and when 
I look at you, 
our smiles are 
Audio download:
Audio Recording 3.m4a
Nov 24

The Winter Painters

The brushes of the winter wind
Whisk across the cottage windows.
Only in the darkness do they paint
For they are shy
And work best in the night.
When the world is fast asleep
They come
They come across the freezing moor
Peering in the windows of all the houses
Riding the tendrils of clouds
Carried along by the gusts of chilly wind.
They come to each window
And dip their brushes in the frosty air.
Then they create 
They paint small spirals and designs all over the glass.
They dance through the winter air and dab at their canvas.
When each window is a masterpiece
They retreat back to the sky.
In the morning,
The children wake up and gasp in surprise at the painters' work.
They use their fingers to add their own touches to the frosty art.
Soon the sun
Melts away their work 
Clearing the canvas
So the winter painters can cover them once more.
Nov 17
poem 6 comments challenge: General

The Little Things

In our society we’re consumed by the number of likes we receive,
It’s assumed if you don’t have pages, and pages of friends you’re lonely,
But only, this media we call social is anything but,
Driving us further and further away from communication,
Take a break from your phone,
Appreciate the life around you,
Don’t let it slip away,
Don’t let social media control you,
Look at the beautiful trees that surround you,
Listen to the spectacular sounds that are around you,
Appreciate the little things in life,
The most simple of them all,
Maybe someone said “Hi,”
Maybe someone said “Bye,”
Maybe someone held the door,
Maybe someone did more,
Don’t ignore these little things in life,
Because in our society,
We will not be consumed by the number of likes we receive.
Nov 07


We always meet here.

The waiter comes, I order some coffee
He asks where she is
I say she’s on her way

I can smell her
This place smells of her
She smells of this place
Our memories smell of here
They always will.

I wait.

I finish my coffee and order more; decaf
She always gets decaf, I remember
I don’t want this coffee anymore

I wait.
It’s late.
I leave.

I'd told the waiter she was on her way
Audio download: