Soledad Alfaro-Allah named 2014 Youth Poet Laureate

16 year old Soledad Alfaro-Allah was named City of Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate on Monday, June 16.  She was named to the post by Helen Haynes, the city’s Chief Cultural Officer, and Philadelphia poet laureate, Frank Sherlock. The youth poet position was created in 2013 to give young people the opportunity to develop showcase their talents and study under the guidance of the poet laureate. Soledad is in 10th grade at Science Leadership Academy. Check out her original poem, titled For Us:

I want to learn how to build with an axe

how to tear the blisters harboring splinters in my hands

for the love of something new

like a home or a smile

but I’ve only seen them tear things down in the name of hope

in the name of love someone show me how to dance

to the songs that life sings

in every second that the hims from the trees

hum the symphonies flapping

inside of humming birds wings

this is for the ones who know who much it hurts

to hear the sounds of how freedom really rings

but cast their bells loud enough

to play songs with the stars

but still walk at the speed of sound because

if you ever gaze you know that we all look at a sky full of ghosts

this is for us

For the soldiers who aim high

chocking back the tears

in their eyes

hoping to save their country from a

death sentence for one thousands years to life

when the sting of shotgun shells becomes to heavy

for the mothers who pick them up

when they hear the pounding of their sons

and daughters hearts against

ground because her ears have always been made of


her chest a pillow

her lap a prayer bed whete the water is full of sin

but ready to turn to

win thick and full of love on our bad days

this is for our bad days

for seeing how beautiful

a storm can be

How god can crack the sky with lighting

and stich it back together with the rolls in his voice

let’s call that thunder

let’s call him clockmaker

for every hour that the

earth ticks on it’s axis telling

the tails

we cried to

laughed to

for hearing the rings in the silence at night

for trying to listen

this is for loving contradiction

for the skeptic atheist clutching a

bible in hopes that paradise is real

and for the woman dressed in burkas

who hold his hands

in the name of living

this is for living

for the shatter in our breath

when we say I love you to eachother

for the days when we laugh at the sun

and cry in the rain

this is for us

this is for love.