Our CHAPTERS Reading Series for 2014 is well underway — so far we’ve seen the girls in our mentoring programs perform fiction that’s made us laugh, poetry that’s made us cry, and so much more. CHAPTERS is the capstone of a year’s worth of weekly pair meetings, monthly workshops, and portfolio building, and is often the first time a girl is taking her writing from the pages of her journal to the stage at Scholastic.
What does it look like when a high school teen transforms a piece of writing into a spellbinding performance? Read Najaya’s powerful piece, Mistake, performed in this year’s CHAPTERS reading series, then watch the video of her performance below.
They say you’re supposed to learn from mistakes
Take the knowledge that came with the situation and carry it throughout life
An unseen guide to light your way
But what do you do when a mistake is a breathing, growing, living thing?
One with a heart that beats near yours
Yet unlike yours and mine his is pure
The only thing that felt right was to try and touch you
Placing my hands upon my stomach I felt your life beginning
The hope and love that started to take root within me
I was just a child myself
Yet I knew my body was no longer just mine
Knew he was not just a complication I could ignore
This could be the beginning
Of his end
Of my future
Of a newborn happiness that just might be what we both need
I messed up
Fell through the cracks
No longer the innocent girl my mother once held
Yes, I’m still a baby
But I’m about to have a baby of my own
You are a king
But kings could never be given life by a peasant
You’d be held down by my mistake
Be defined by a statistic
Wouldn’t you rather soar like the angel you are?
Our hearts fall into sync
I know can you feel my confusion
I can’t let you go
Yet I’m not sure I should let you stay
Leaving you behind
I have my whole life ahead
But I ask myself
Is it worth it without you?
Will my love remain only with you?
Will you ever come again?
But when babies start having babies
What else do you expect?
Don’t miss out: you still have two chances to get inspired at CHAPTERS. Join us Friday May 30 with Ana Castillo and Friday June 20 with Christina Baker Kline.