What We Carry


“The Lonely Bridge” by Ari Bauer ’24

Janet Amuh, ’22

When my ancestors whisper advise in my ear,

I taste honey and ginger,

I carry the smell of mango butter melting in my scalp attracting butterfly clips to land and secure my braids,

Light bleed in through the leaves,

I carry books written by Black women,

There’re heavy with wisdom and words I didn’t know I needed,

Who remind me of my humanity.


Elise Armstrong, ’22

I carry the warm and comforting hug that no longer wraps around my body

Instead it the nooks of my mind it keeps my thoughts cold

As I walk through the inevitable truth of moving away to 

An unknown place

To a different state

To try and maybe replace that hug around my body that once made me feel safe.


Paige Barrett, ’23

I carry the slashes and pressures of my ancestors

The love they carried through their shea and coconut oil,

Traveling down my scalm like a river valley.

I carry the earth, wind, and fire from mother nature

Each element shining so bright like a hot star. 

I carry international cultural involvement

Educating myself from the right and wrongs written in society


Gabrielle Brown, ’22

I carry the expectation of being the bestI can possibly be. 

The weight of knowing that people look up to me. 

The trauma of being put in a lion’s den full of pressure.

All of the misleading compliments flooding my mind. 

Weighing it down.

Adding on stress.

I carry the thought of failure and later disappointment.

I carry the expectation of being perfect for everyone except


Diamond Carrington, ’22

I carry late-night conspiracies,

and dark thought polygamy

Spilling out of the mouth

into the bowls of green, hitchhiked along for the ride


Narelle Cotner, ’24

I carry the weight of the ones I love. 

I don’t want them to suffer but it happens anyway. 

The way I try so hard the make them happy even though I’m not there…. 

I want him to be happy. 

He’s my best friend.. 

I held his shaking palm and told him I care 

But now I made him mine.


Madison Cowley, ’22

I carry the femininity of a black girl

how I’ve been told to carry since I was a baby.

I carry the androgyny of a black kid

how I’ve wanted to perceive myself since I was a child.  

I carry the everlasting wonder of identity 

how I’ve been tied down since I was a teenager.

I carry the hope of gender euphoria

how I want to live when I’m grown.


Bianca Esperanza, ’22

I carry stress 

Stress that creates a weight on my back

Like the books that are like a boulder on my spine

stress that keeps me up at night 

Like a monster under my bed 

Stress that slithers through all the good 

And then bites me in the back

Stress that I am in a toxic relationship with

Not allowing me to have a social life

Deciding my life decisions 

Stress that flashes in bright red in my mind

But shows in blue-light  in reality

I carry this weight 

Not only eight hours a day

But 24/7

I carry my future

In the palm of my hands


Mia Knox, ’22

I carry the dream of a little girl whose eyes were never dry. 

Hold her close to my chest and whisper sweet nothings in her ear,

Listen to her heartbeat as she sings to the wind. 

I try anything I can to lull her to sleep-

For the moon knows that it’s still hard for us to. 

I carry a smile so that others don’t have to. 

Take all my sadness and crumple it up in my fist, 

Hide it behind my teeth and push a laugh past it,

Swallow it fast so others don’t smell it on my breath. 

I carry my pain. 

And my mothers,

And her mothers,

And her mothers mother.

Put it all on my back and pull my knees down to the earth. 

Feel the soil in my fingertips. 

Let the rain water the seeds that pour out of my mind,

Trauma folded in a neat square and passed from black hand to black hand. 

Secrets that will never see the light of day.

I carry all the things that I am afraid to let go of, 

All the things left unsaid, 

All the memories left to make,

All my love for my shooting star,


All the hopes I have that I won’t dare unveil out loud.

If I say what I’m wishing for out loud will it come true?


K’Lani Long, ’22

I carry my sisters and brothers

My boyfriends emotionless emotions

The Comfort of my classmates 

The anger of being afraid 

The knowing of my confused thoughts 

I carry the weight of being heard on my back 

The smile that carries me


AnDrea Taylor, ’24

I carry the trauma of my childhood

From my teachers damning me to hell

To the mud and blood that stained my clothes

I carry the hot tears running down my face

From the whoopings and blame

And numbness