In Ms. Feldman’s 8th grade Writing Composition class, students were asked to write a poem about a memorable stranger and to use sensory details and figurative language to develop this character in a poem.
She was a person I never knew,
Her coat a dirty shade of blue.
She had gray and brown hair,
She blew pungent fumes into the air.
I could taste the cigarette smoke,
And other smells that made me choke,
Her eyes were a hazy shade of green,
She definitely was not a queen.
Her voice was hoarse and husky,
Like she had eaten something dusty.
I hoped that she would go away,
But I saw her again another day.
The Loco Lotioner
every day at four,
I see her creeping to the store,
she has used up her lotion and wants more.
she licks her parched lips,
wipes her hands on her hips,
her dress just bare strips,
the wind makes them whip.
she is very creepy,
her legs so creaky,
her slippers squeaky,
her smile so sneaky.
she moves like a wounded Africanized honey bee:
she has a bad knee,
that makes a sound like a plea,
like she wants to move but her joints disagree.
she wears mascara all over her head,
her lipstick’s not red,
the CVS guys dread,
how one day she will be dead.
she is their most frequent buyer,
and they are her supplier,
so they fear when she will expire.
The Lady in Gray
She moves in the direction of the brightest cab,
Stomping every step in her black 2” high heels.
Her lips thin and unthin as she howls
Her thick feminine voice into the black cased iPhone.
For a brief second,
She relieves herself of the intense conversation
By brushing her blonde, shoulder length hair
Out of her blue thin eyes.
Her black suit jacket opens slightly
As a cool summer breeze rolls through the city –
Revealing a casual white collared button up
Worn by successful businesswomen.
She yells into the phone
Like a lioness roaring at her mate
Who has tripped over their cub
While moving too quickly for the morning rock.
Her roar penetrates the skull of the receiver
Like a rusty, foot long train spike.
She gestures like a female praying mantis
Ripping the head off its undefended mate.
With her final bellow, she angrily taps the screen
Reflecting the sun’s bright rays.
Then just as angrily she flings open the door to the cab
Drops her thin black suitcase inside,
And slams herself down after it.
The music plays,
People rise from their seats.
Some a little lethargic,
Some energetic so they start dancing and singing.
Billie Jean is the name of the song.
“Billie Jean is not my lover,”
One woman slurs to her husband.
“She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one,”
The lanky man garbles back.
“But the kid is not my son.”
The crowd sang back off-key.
They swayed up to my father.
Dancing like robots,
And attempting Michael Jackson moves.
They still sang obnoxiously,
On and on until it was over.
Little beads of sweat appeared on their tired faces.
Still dancing wildly,
They stagger off to another group of people.
There He is Again
There he is again,
sitting, thinking he is a king,
but, in reality, he looks like
a lazily piled snowman
against a brick wall,
that the heat could not,
and sadly never will melt.
He sits there,
watching and staring at
anyone who passes by,
like he is assessing them,
to see if they are a threat.
It almost seems he has a secret,
a dark secret
that no one must know.
his yellow teeth showing,
chipped and cracked,
like he has been chewing rocks.
He wears the same attire everyday:
an old Celtics Jersey,
raggedy old shorts,
and ratty high tops.
As I pass by the basketball court
where he resides,
he yells something that is incoherent,
I ignore his ignorance and keep running,
knowing next week I will see him again,
no matter what the weather.
I saw him.
Wobbling across the street,
Showing no mercy for what he has become.
I pondered, wondering what might be wrong.
Any person would be concerned.
Holding a bottle, looking confused,
Breathing heavily, smelling of alcohol,
No doubt he was drunk.
The way he walked, with a limp.
And his appearance, different than ours:
Torn shoes, ripped shirt,
A leather jacket that might cover scars,
The wretched odor upon his clothing,
Skin dirtied with mud and garbage.
His tan skin, cracked by the air
From the cool December breeze.
Creepy Old Lady
Strolling, up, down, and all around,
Eyeing people as they rush past her,
walking or jogging.
Wrinkly, rough skin like cracks in pavement,
Grayish, brown hair,
Greasy like it was washed in a pool of oil.
and shaking hands,
But sturdy as steel.
With a raspy voice,
Coarse, as if she just finished a meal of sand,
She mutters about the crazy world.