NO MORE by Sharlene, age 10

The fragrant smell of french fries
hovers in the air.
I dash through chairs
and claw the the greasy sticks
into my mouth.
Crumbs of garlic tickle my tongue.
It’s my turn.
I pick up a bowling ball the size of my head,
stab my fingers through its skull
I lift my arm, swing,
and let go.
The ball echos down the lane.
Pins clatter.
The reseter sweeps them down its throat.
I come back to the table.
Specks of garlic stare at me
from the greasy basket


Art by Jessica

LITTLE BOY By Sharlene, age 10, Daniel, age 9 & Tai, age 11

Little Boy deals cards 
under my feet.
Little Boy full of cuckoo,
Little Boy full of talking,
Little Boy full of yellow,
Full of I don’t know.
Don’t care.
Little Boy full of pockets,
Full of apples,
Full of butter.
He got a stomachache and
his gut split into pieces.
One heads toward the sky,
One heads north,
Another to the middle of the earth:
1. Ocean
2. Zoo
3. Jungle
4. Space
Full of cuckoo,
Little Boy
Draws four jokers.

WHEN I AM 80, Poetry by Sharlene, age 9

I am a Little Girl
I am a little girl.
I love secrets.
But I am not good at keeping them.
I always tell my mom.
I love my plastic duck.
When you squeeze it its cheeks turn red 
and it talks and laughs.
But I don’t remember who gave it to me.
When I sleep, my duck rolls around in the bed with me.
I am dreaming my dad won the lotto.
When I wake up I get a new dog.
It always bites my plastic duck.
Until one day it disappears.
My mom says, “It might be under the counter.”
But it is not.
I am very sad.
I try my best to find it.
But I can’t.
When I am Eighty
When I am eighty years old I will look for my duck because
It might help me remember myself being young.
But of course I won’t play with it 
because I will not be a baby anymore.
Well, might have thrown it away!
So what’s the whole point of keeping it?
I’m already old.
But I’m going to get a new house.
When I go to my new house I will find my ducky!!!
I will be so excited.
My eyes will be wide open.
I will drop my cane 
and will hug my duck 
so tight.
When I am Thirty
When I am thirty I will go to Macy’s.
Smooth, blue sweaters will hang from metal racks
And fancy shoes will shine on their shelves.
Then the earth will move and I will move and the shoes will dance by themselves.
The earth will keep shaking but Beyonce will keep singing from the TV swaying from the ceiling.
The sales lady will tap on the cash register, acting like nothing’s wrong.
The perfumes from the counters will float up the escalator and swirl through my hair.
The cash registers will beep and crash to the ground.
I will leave the store but I won’t remember where I parked the car.
About the Author
Hi, my name is Sharlene. I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my dad, mom and my brother. I like to draw because my brother is a wonderful artist and I want to be as good as he is. I am good at math and my teacher says I’m ready to learn the lattice method and long division problems. I want to be good at cooking because I want to help my dad earn money. When I grow up I want to be a veterinarian because my mom said that it is a good job, and I love pets. If I were a machine I would be a meat slicer. If I had powers I would want to control things with my mind because I am sometimes tired and I don’t feel like standing up. At home I speak English and my mom talks to me in Vietnamese. This is my first published book.