Young Writers Project, an independent, Burlington-based nonprofit, inspires young people to write and use digital media to express themselves with clarity and power, and to build confidence and skills for school, workplace and life.
Check out the latest issue of The Voice, The Young Writers Project’s monthly digital magazine. Click on here.
Each week, VTDigger presents a writing submission – an essay, poem, fiction or non-fiction – accompanied by a photo or illustration of Young Writers Project.
YWP publishes approximately 1,000 student work each year here, in Vermont newspapers, on Vermont Public Radio, and in YWP’s monthly digital magazine, The voice. Since 2006, it has offered a place for young people to write, share their photos, works of art, audio and video files, and to explore and connect online at youngwritersproject.org. For more information, please email Susan Reid at [email protected].
There is a sense of comfort in a scorching cup of coffee (or tea, if that’s your cup of tea) that can spread warmth through our limbs like a compassionate hug when we need it most. This week’s star writer, South Burlington prose poet Iris Robert, draws on the spices, flavors and textures of a heartwarming sip to explore the intricacies of love on her palate.
Through IRIS ROBERT, 17 years old
Like vanilla bean freckles on your cinnamon hands, I followed the constellations left by the saffron strands. I drank lattes every morning when you were gone. I measured out the coffee grounds and poured boiling water over the parchment, frothed the milk and let it slide into a mug. I sprinkled nutmeg on top, added a strip of caramel, maybe. Honey or cardamom or sugar if I felt like it.
I held these cups so gently, I placed them so lightly on the wooden nightstand. Like chamomile and rose petals soaked for hours, I sullied myself with memories of you, driving in the middle of the night, reaching for the moonlight even as it disappeared behind dense clouds. I left you my leather jacket. I stuffed bills in my pockets and waited for you to unfold them like roses, but you never sent a response.
I tell these stories to your ghost: the days when you were away, when the shadows came too quickly, when time and cups fell from my hands as if I were made of feathers.