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Imitation Poems from Contemporary Literature Honors Classes

This poems were inspired by “I Saw Emmett Till at the Grocery Store” by Chicago poet Eve L. Ewing.
Mia Wallace, ’25

I saw Tamir Rice. His eyes beamed with black boy joy as he played with his siblings.

I saw Samaria Rice enjoying the company of her SUN.

In which her world revolved around.

 I saw Tamir Rice, youthful, thriving and full of life.

I saw him basking in the innocence of his youth.

I saw him unperverted by the hate and bigotry America has shown him.

He looked like my cousin Dj.

I saw Tamir celebrating his twenty-second birthday. 

I saw him in college flourishing in his young adult years. 

  I thought I saw Tamir Rice yesterday. 

He had long black locs, with dark black rimmed glasses.

He was on instagram, with a smile beaming from ear to ear. 

He looked like my cousin, Jaali. 

I see Tamir Rice everyday.

I see Tamir in Jaali and Dj, my own family.

I see him in every innocent young black boy.

Though Tamir has not been earthside for a decade, he is yet alive.

He is a constant reminder that black boys deserve to just  be boys.


Martin Luther King was on the train 

Heading to Downtown

With his kids.

Showing what’s outside of the window.


He says to his son Dexter,

“That right there,

That’s the Willis Tower.”

Then I say to him,

“That’s the Sears tower.” 

He then asked me,


I always thought it was Willis.”

Then I tell him that,

“It’s officially Willis,

But locals like me still say Sears.”

Then he introduces himself & his sons III & Dexter,

& then his daughters Yolanda & Bernice.

Then I introduced myself.

Then asked where he was heading to.

He said “MSI” & then asked me where I was heading to.

I said, 

“I’m gonna visit Adler.”

As the train starts to approach 57th,

He says that he has to go & he & his kids exit the train.

As the train leaves 57th,

We locked eyes & waved to each other.

Then I smiled.


Juice WRLD The Living Legend 

In this world where music’s essence thrives, 

Juice WRLD, a living legend, continues to rise. 

His appearance a blend of classic and new. 

Tattoos and chains, a style that’s true. 

Encounters with him in the heart of the city’s beat, 

Lost in melodies, bobbing his head, crafting songs that speak

Penning lyrics that resonate with the crowd, 

A soul on a journey, humble and proud. 

His eyes, windows to a world of dreams, 

Reflecting passion in vibrant streams, 

In the pulsing lights of a modern stage

Where his music resonates with every age. 

Dancing with energy in a rhythmic trance, 

Crafting verses that make hearts dance. 

Idiosyncrasies woven into his flow, 

Echos of authenticity in every show. 

In conversation, he shares wisdom and light, 

Of overcoming struggles and shining bright. 

Through his music, his message is clear, 

“Embrace your uniqueness, let go of Fear.”


Freddie Mercury sees the 21st Century 

I saw Freddie Mercury at the record store in Chicago. 

He was flipping through many records, 

Not just his own, 

But other icons like David Bowie, the Beatles, Prince, and Elton John.

His outfit, to no surprise,

Was loud and proud, 

Just like he is. 

Because it was the middle of autumn, 

He wore his bright yellow jacket with bright yellow pants, 

Just like he did during his concerts. 

His age does not stop him from expressing himself. 

He is 78 and still walks around with the same confidence. 

His sexuality is no longer beaten down by many,

But is instead celebrated as an important figure

To those who don’t know how to express themselves. 

Instead of letting AIDS win, 

He found the correct medicine at the correct time. 

Living to see the Bohemian Rhapsody movie. 

Living to go on a world tour once more. 

Living to inspire more generations. 

I saw Kurt Cobain on the ferry home… Drake

Sitting on one of the benches in the back,

Looking over the waving created by the ferry,

With a backpack sitting next to him

On the hour crossing to Bremerton,

As the sun was past mid day,

He had his sunglasses on,

I asked “Are you Kurt Cobain?”

He said yes

We chatted for a while as we passed through Rich Passage,

We chatted about music,

We chatted about about our lives,

We took a couple photos together,

Just some one on one time,

Just me and him

The ferry arrived in Bremerton

We said our goodbyes

We got off the ferry

I waited for my ride to pick me up

He got in line for the bus to Aberdeen


Popping Bubblegum with the King of Pop 

There I was, it was the end of my shift. Waiting on my ride, I wasn’t in a desperate rush to get home but I wasn’t interested in staying here longer than I needed to be.

I put on my headphones and checked my phone. My mom hasn’t responded to my text.

You can pick me up now


I didn’t know how much longer it was going to be. I mean I could work longer, more hours, more money, but did I? 

I just walked up and down aisles in hopes my mom would magically show up. But of course, she didn’t show.

I picked up some necessities I needed and gum. Making my way to the long line, I realized I had forgotten to get my brother something to drink. I almost forgot I promised him a drink. I rushed over to the coolers to grab a drink.

The cool sensation of the drink startled me and made me drop the drink. Thankfully it didn’t burst open. I looked around frantically, hopefully nobody saw me. Not even the cameras.

I picked it up and walked over to the line which had now shrunk in size by now. The cashier was a coworker I was cool with smiled and followed through with the transaction. Asking me what plans I had for the day, I said nothing much. They asked if my ride was here but I said not yet. I rechecked my phone. But she responded this time

Sorry, I just saw your text I’ll be on my way right now. Can you wait inside until I’m there?


Great, just great. I could’ve just walked home by now. But it’s whatever, I’ll probably just walk over to Pop’s and wait for her there.

You can pick me up at Pop’s, I’mma get me something to eat


Within an instant, my phone buzzed, and I knew she just responded to my text with an OK. Making sure I’m aware of my surroundings, I walk over to Pop’s safely and in one piece. Once I got to the door, I popped a piece of gum in my mouth. I’ll admit, I was chewing the gum loudly due to the faint looks of everyone around me. The line was rather long but I wasn’t used to coming to Pop’s in the early afternoon. I took a seat at an open booth, across from me sat a man slumped, cane over one arm. His coat looked worn-in and itchy, plastered in a dark purple color. His fedora which didn’t match anything he was wearing was practically out of place. A bright white fedora, the color of the walls at a dentist’s office. That disgustingly, bright white color, a color that burns my eyes. 

“Can I have some?” the man asked.


“Some gum, can I have a piece of gum”


“Sure,” I said, opening the pack of gum and handing him a piece. He took the piece and only did I notice his bony hands. He popped the gum in his mouth and proceeded to chew loudly too. He simply only smiled at me, and I smiled back. It was kinda awkward, like what else was I supposed to do other than smile back? So I put on my headphones making sure to have one ear out to listen to my surroundings and put on some music. There I was humming to the lyrics to the song I was listening to. My humming seemed to pique the interest of the man which led him to ask:

“What song is that” he asked.

“Rock With You by Michael Jackson, you like it,” I asked.

“Yeah, it’s a favorite of mine”  I smiled back.

I glance up at the line only to see it’s doubled in size. I nearly forgot why I was even here in the first place, but before I could get up.

“Number 54” a worker called. The man got up out of his seat, shaking a little.

“Did you need help, sir?” I asked.

“No, I’m okay dear, thank you” He took his cane which was looped in between his arms, and placed it on the hard floor. 

Making his way to his food, grabbing a straw for his drink and extra napkins. I watched him leave in hopes he didn’t fall over or god forbid drop his food. But luckily he safely made it out of Pop’s and to wherever he had to be. People in the store now murmuring very loudly, louder than the sound of me chewing my gum. I was confused but made my way in line behind an elderly woman. She turned around by the door and then looked at me. 

“Do you know who that was?” she asked.

“No, should I” I chuckled. What she was gonna say was that man was some big-time celebrity I know about. No famous person would show up out here.

“That was Michael Jackson,” she said giddily.

Michael Jackson? Yeah, right.

“Couldn’t you tell?” she said.

No, I wouldn’t know. Of course, she wouldn’t know he was famous around the time I wasn’t even alive. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized. He even told me that the song I was listening to was good. Which was a Michael Jackson song. His song. Weird.

“Ma’am, are you ready to order,” said the cashier.

“Yeah, sorry” I answered, snapping out of my dase. 

My mom would not believe me if I told her this. 


Ronnie Van Zant 

(Lynyrd Skynryd head Vocalist dies in plane crash at age 29)

Down in Alabama

Fishin in the river for some gar

A static radio plays just where I can hear it

Someone sining along perfectly to the rhythm

I see an old man with a smooth guitar in a brown chair

Starin at the movements of the shifty river

The man looks to be about 70 somethin

Now I reconized that voice 

Good ole Ronnie Van zant

He said he´s gonna produce music till his vocals die

He starts playin that familiar rhythm of ¨Free bird¨

Birds start flyin over the river goin crazy

String by string the guitar slowly fades away

A wise guy said never forget the classic music

Pass it on to your generation

I hear the whistling sound of line runnin on my pole

Run back to that opening on the river to get that fish

That familiar song fades away

I look back and he´s off in the wind


I Saw Martin Luther King Jr At A Parade Today 

Making my sign for an LGBTQ+ parade

My nose filled

With markers the scent of various fruits.

As I make my sign, looking around

To see all kinds of people surrounding the area.

From the 26 year old guy

With dyed hair more colorful than a delicious green grape

And piercings all over his body that fingers aren’t enough to count,

To the 14 year old girl

With short, pitch black hair

Holding a sign which states “everyone can love who they want”.

The next person to catch my eye had left me breathless 

The man who fought for equal rights

Almost 70 years ago.

He looks exactly like how you’d imagine

Even at 94 years of age,

You can feel this sense of ease when you’re near him.

His posture stiff as an old tree branch

Noticing that time has taken its toll on an excellent man,

Every strand of hair on his body

From sleek black from his prime

To old and gray with time.

He is with his granddaughter

Holding a sign that says “I have a dream that equal rights will be truly be accomplished”

I go up to introduce myself

Scared of seeing such a powerful man,

Only to be met with a graceful, humble smile.

“Hello, young man, I’m glad to see you participate in this fight for equality”

He says in a strong, yet calming voice.

The only words I am able to let out are

“You have done so much for the world. Thank you”

He responds with another smile and says

“I wish to make people’s lives better with my actions

And I have done that, so thank you”

He returns to parading with his sign and his granddaughter.

I look in awe of the man who fought for civil rights 

70 years ago

I saw Martin Luther King Jr at a parade today

And he is exactly what you’d imagine

An amazing father, grandfather, man, and as a person.


I saw Cynthia Wesley at church this Sunday 

singing her heart out with the choir,

dancing in her seat and praising the lord above.

In a pretty purple dress raising her wrinkly arms,

she sang on and on for she’s alive.

Her skin glowed in the lighting,

standing out in the crowd of people.

After service, I went up to talk to her after she was done talking

to the pastor. She was like an angel,

with how she welcomed me into her church.

She talked about her best friend, 

Denise. They’ve been friends since childhood,

and lived through the Civil Rights Movement.

She even told me of the time she met,

Martin Luther King Jr. at church when,

she was younger. She talked about her struggles,

and how she helped in fighting for women,

and their rights. Her fear was like bubbles,

floating up to a place you can’t see. 

A tint of light was in her eyes,

recalling all the things of the past. To see

history played off in front of me, and had me in awe.

And she leaves me inspired, for such a little lady.


I Saw Selena At The Fair  

The exciting energy of euphonies and savory scents

The taste of the sweet fruit she shared with Chris,

Her family surrounds her, though it’s more than Los Dinos now.

The two young children run around the table,

Begging to go dancing

In a minute! She yells, wanting to finish the fruit.

The second the band starts playing,

She shoots out her seat, knowing she was just waiting for the first beat.

Her daughter’s arm in hers and the twists began

The dancing continues like a bouquet with few thorns scattered throughout

Trying to stay out of others way, but the bumps are inevitable

I saw Selena at the fair

She wears the years on her face, the same age as my Dad

Despite the smile lines, the light in her eyes can’t be fabricated

The love shows off like the moon in the sky

Support and endearment given and received

Building from a fruitful life

Manifested through true passion that is Selena


Truth and Fiction

People often like to make their own assumptions,

But I don’t want to think about that.

Let’s just leave the mysteries to fact,

And finally talk about the woman of the sky at last.


A pioneer who owned a 5B Vega,

And a new meaning to strength that she soon gave.

I can picture her now walking on ground,

Sweet and sound, yet foreign to see her down.


We usually see her in the sky,

Riding the winds like a neverending tide.

Yet today her wings were clipped down

Like that unfateful day when her wings were drowned.


Ameilia, Cecilia,

Calla Lily, Swan River Daisy,

One of them was her name,

The other could have been one she tamed.

Those flowers were what she was holding,

But now they are the flowers she could have been holding.


Her brown hair still lays in the mind.

An unsolved case reopened by time.

Her independence still lays strong like a tower.

A symbol of her power, with her beauty running like a shower.


“Hello” I’d say. “How was your day?”

“Tiring but thankful”, at her dismay.

“I left my plane in the carrier for today.

I want to be on land since this is where I lay.”


Her smile was shining from ear to ear.

Not even a single lick of fear was near.

A life cut short when the path was clear.


Soon, we’d part and never meet again.

I counted the seconds till the word ten.

Then she was gone, 

And it didn’t even feel long.


Now her death lies a mystery.

An aircraft ripped apart.

All of you must remember the name,

Amelia Earhart.


Forever A Beatle

One day I found myself 

At Guitar Center playing a

6 string cherry red guitar

a man came and approached me

And asked if i wanted help playing

I politely declined and said I’d try

On my own, he walked away and 

Let me try, he eventually came back over

And began playing what sounded like

“Here comes the sun” by the beatles

What started as a guitar session became a 

Life story, I asked how he became so good at 

Playing, he mentioned being in a band when he 

Was younger, he looked he was in his mid 70’s

What stuck out to me is that he said he was shot

What he said stuck with me and then i started to notice

something , from the long beard to the, pointy nose, and

Round glasses i had finally realized i was speaking to

John Lennon.


Gigi Bryant

Upon the floor of the girl’s court a Titan stands watch

His focus calculated like that of a serpent, intense and sharp

Cheering in support of the team, a father’s pride,and a champion’s spark

A serpent unable to shed its skin, a face weathered with time

Each gesture a subtle signal, the show of a master’s wisdom

In the face of his daughter you can the preservation of legacy

A lineage of achievements past from a generation to another

She handles the ball with ease, a natural born hooper

Weaving past defenders like they’re standing still, what a thriller!

Her shot is smooth, her moves are swift and clean

She’s able to get the crowd on its feet, they can’t deny

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree that’s clear

Gigi’s got game, there’s no fear

She drives to the hoop, she dishes out dimes

The future of basketball is bright, and it’s all hers 

As the buzzer sounds, I make my way to the court

Where Gigi and Kobe are waiting, their bond so fort

They embrace, a moment of love and pride

And I’m honored to meet them, side by side.


I saw Kobe Bryant this week at an empty gym…

stretching his legs and muscles, one by one

music in his ears to help him run

up and down the gym, he goes

and never slows down, for thirty minutes

until a basketball appears in hand.

he begins with close shots, missing the first few

remaining calm as he makes the next two 

shots, preparing to work on his footwork

jab after jab like a stab in the court, perfecting

his craft with each and every move, making it

impossible to choose which comes next. I knew 

it was him by the purple and gold shorts, or maybe

his infamous low top shoes. either way it was his form 

that undeniably led me to the fact that it was him. after

four hours of training and little to no shots hitting the rim

he was finally finished, hardworking and trained. sitting on the side 

as he looked drained. 

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