What You See in Us

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What You See in Us

Mrs. J, advisor

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Alex Washburn, PHS sophomore, is on the verge of becoming a published poet.  Not too many sophomores in high school can add that to a list of accomplishments.   She recently entered the Poetry Nation’s National Amateur Poetry Competition with her original poem entitled, “What You See in Us”, which she created  for her PAP sophomore English class.  This week she received a letter stating she was a semi-finalist in the contest, and her piece would be published in a book of poetry entitled, Upon Arrival by Eber and Wein Publishing. This is an amazing accomplishment as thousands enter this competition.  When she received the letter in the mail, Alex said, ” I was so excited, and when I opened it, I started crying! I just had to go share it with Miss Koleber!”  Congratulations, and good luck in the semi-final round.  We may be biased at The Roar, but we think this piece is a definite winner!


What You See in Us

by Alex Washburn

You look at us,

What do you see?

Tide Pods?


Water bottles flipping on YouTube?

What do you think we’re like?

How about dumb?

Or lazy,

Or ungrateful?

Oh, let’s not forget,



Consumed by technology

By the media

By how many likes our selfies get






Of course,

The media is how we present ourselves,

Mainly to our peers.

Those older than us?

They see us differently.

They don’t see our generation as individuals,

But as an overall class.

They see kids who don’t try,

Kids that have EVERYTHING

But earn,



There are a few bad wolves in the pack,

But we are



Like them.

You wanna know what most of us see?

We see people who see others,

Kim K,



All of which are, stunning women.

As people,

We try to be them

Because that is the ONLY way

We will be good enough,

To everyone else.

So what do we do?

We skip meals

We whiten our teeth

We paint our nails

And we cover our faces with make-up,




To feel like maybe,

Just, Maybe,

We will be good enough.

But that’s not all we see.

We see teenagers

With parents FAR from what you would call



“Lawnmower” parents.

These are parents who haven’t saved a


Lousy penny,

For their “precious angel”

To go to college.


We see ourselves at what?


Sixteen maybe?

Not all of us even old enough to drive,

Working not just one,

But maybe even two jobs.

At our age,

We’re lucky to make anything over eight dollars an hour.

So we work,

Shift after shift,

Hour after hour,




Maybe we can save

Just enough

To even open an account.

We know we’ll never have enough,

So on top of working twenty hours a week

And going to school eight hours a day,

We go home.

We go home and we study

And study,

And study,


We study.

Cause unless we wanna end up like our parents,

No degree,

No career,

Living paycheck to paycheck,

We have to earn scholarships.

Did you hear what I said?

Did you?

I said Earn,

I said Work

I said Study,

Things that apparently,

Some of you don’t see.





Of ALL the things you DO see,

Can’t you see that?

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