give and take

By Sophia Soloway, age 14
give and take Sophia Soloway is a ninth grader at Walter Panas High School. She enjoys figure skating and playing viola when she isn't skating, and she has attended Writopia for four years!

“I can’t take from others

Because I know how hard it is to give.”


 I take

3 hard candies in my hand and

slip them out of their plastic shells.

I pop each one into my mouth

with a quick movement,

So no one can see what I’ve done.


I take

pictures of leaves and flowers and hands

and then delete them.

I hide them so well

That they’re never found,

And I shake my head when

People see my camera

And ask if I take any good pictures.


I take


And warp them until they’re

All I can hold onto.

Subtle, teasing comments

That shouldn’t mean anything.


I take

Tests and lose my sanity

For 44 minutes.  


I give

hesitant hugs and lemon drops with smiles that taste just as sour.   


I give

Averted glances and

Tired, trembling high fives.   


I’ve given

until my hands are so empty and raw that they hurt too much to take.


I can’t take from others

Because I know how hard it is to give.   

We’re still kids with

Sticky fingers,

Stuck to rapacity and red life savers.  


I take

books and fall asleep with them so the pages are crumpled where I finished reading.


I take

water and let it slip through the cracks between each finger,

Long showers that lull

My environmentalist mind to sleep.   


I take

Deep breaths

Between giggles or sobs ––

It makes no difference.   


I take

a dictionary and shake it hard

so the words have new meanings.   


I take


I take

my friends’ hands when we walk through cemeteries

because it’s scary and cold,

But their fingers aren’t.   


I take

Minutes to myself.  

Sunday mornings where I lay under a snowy white mountain of blankets,

The sun creeping in through my window;

I take

her in with open arms.  


I take for myself,

From myself.  


I take

3 hard candies

And rip them out of their plastic shells,

So everyone knows that I’m here

And ready to take.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *