Crystal River Elementary School

I am from a big church in El Salvador
With a stained glass window
That looks like a broken piece of the rainbow.

I am from my abuelo who has fake knees hard as rocks.
If I want him to hear me, I have to talk as loud as
A trumpeting elephant or a howling monkey.

I feel safe in the cozy hugs of my mama and grandma.
When I am with them, my heart is full of honeybees,
gathering sweetness from the people I love.

When my family came to this country
They carried with them reminders of home.
They brought visions of fish with scales like mosaic tiles,
Swimming downstream swift as kites in the wind,
Shiny as sea shells, gentle as fine silk.

I am a mariachi band, an accordion,
A guitar playing La Matrietta.
I am Trumpet Vine, a song my
Grandfather wrote.

We are a puzzle made of many pieces,
Like a soccer ball or a quilt.
Put us together, and we have superpowers
To make the world a better place.
— Crystal River Elementary Third Graders

85 3rd graders learn about the power of sensory details and how, if I can understand how an experience felt, sounded, looked, tasted to you, I can more easily imagine what it must have been like. I can empathize. I can connect.

This residency spans four weeks and culminates with group poems that are performed for the community.