By Jaehun Lee
We cross the street and make our way to the forest next to South. It’s a chilly day but no one is shivering. Everyone’s eyes are shining with enthusiasm and excitement.
Today is a special day. It’s December 21st, the Winter Solstice. Poetry club is celebrating this day by holding their meeting in the forest.
We continue walking down the leafy path to an unknown destination. As we continue, the sounds of construction and everyday school bustle fade into the distance, until the only sound we can hear is that of our shoes crunching the leaves.
“How far are we going?” a boy in a red jacket asks.
“Just a bit more,” a girl in a silver jacket replies. She’s walking with purpose several yards ahead of the others; it’s clear that she has a spot in mind.
We walk past other students walking home or hanging out in the forest, until we reach a group of large rocks on the side of the road.
Silver Jacket stops.
“Pick a rock, guys.”
We put down our bags and sit on the rocks in a circle just off the path.
One by one, each person reads a poem. Occasionally people pass by, but everyone’s too engrossed in sharing their poems to notice. At the end of each one, everyone snaps and gives compliments to the sharer. At the end of the second poem, they discuss its contents and talk about their days. Eventually the conversation shifts to relationships. As each person talks, everyone responds in a sympathetic manner; it’s a supportive group.
The group continues to talk as the distant bell signifying the end of J-block rings. A girl in a black jacket stands up to leave.
“Let’s do a word around poem before we leave,” Silver Jacket suggests.
Each person says a word, together creating a beautiful poem. As they walk back to school, they continue their conversation from before, which has since shifted to something else.
Somewhere in the forest, you’ll hear the leaves rustle, the cars pass by on a distant road, and, if you pick the right date, students sharing poetry. Poetry is a release from the world, and every Wednesday J-block in room 2208, this group of kids offer themselves a release from school and everyday life to share a common passion.