On March 11, 2021, the New York Times published a special section, called “Teens on a Year that Changed Everything,” with art, photographs and quotes from teenagers across the country. They were responding to the year anniversary of the pandemic reaching our shores and how it affected their lives. Today’s piece is a another cento combining lines from some of their quotes.

Teens on a Year That Changed Everything II
-a cento

My interactions with other people
were all fit neatly
into little rectangles
on my screen.
When uncertainty strikes,
we need connection
and community
more than ever.
We turned to technology
to build and maintain
social connections.
When I was little, I
would always wonder
why my mother’s hands
were so rough
and wrinkly.
These two sides of me
are so different,
yet they both compose
my identity.
It feels as though there is only you.
I forgot to wear the mask.
When I was the only one
to show my face, I felt
weird and awkward.
We felt ourselves becoming
anxious and depressed.
I was angry at the world.
The BLM movement
has encouraged me and
an entire generation of young people
to speak up.
I am slightly grateful to the pandemic.
As I am writing this now,
I still have a stupid ton 
of homework to do.
*Sigh*.

©David Siller – 2021

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021. Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

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