This week, the Beat continues posting work from writers in the Writers in Baltimore Schools (WBS) program. This work was created at WBS’ Young Writers’ Summer Studio, a six-day writing camp held each year in August. This year, the Beat’s Lisa Snowden-McCray and Brandon Soderberg worked with the students for two of those six days. Some of the work here and much more will be published in WBS’ Writers’ Studio anthology out soon. We began with a piece from WBS founder Patrice Hutton and so far we brought you poems by WBS writers Abigail MokubaJahi HeathChristian PearsonKenniah Woodson, A.H. Berry, and Gerard Johnson. Today, we have a poem by Kyra Smith…

I…am one body, With two faces. 

Being made with a body that goes left while the mind goes right.

And yet, I’ve been told, “You are not your own; you were bought with a price”

I was bought with a price?

Was that price sleepless nights, ugly thoughts depressive words that make others onder about my being?

The ability to trust another and to allow them in my circle only to kick them out if they show the slightest inconvenience? 

One face, Two face, Red face, Blue face.

One face is Red face.

Two face is Blue face.

Red face is Bitter.

Blue face is Bliss.

Turn to quick and you might miss…


Wake up at 3, the body marked as present while the mind is absent.

Tears flow without a thought.

Take pity on this mind; its thinking of ways to harm those who wronged.

Murderous intent flowing through the veins, the body is frozen as others come near.

Hear those voices speak in your ear, each a different tone,




Please Lord, take pity on my bitter soul.

Only 18, feel 80.

The mind is a beautiful being, as I grow, it grows alongside me.

Many things make me question, “Maybe I’m growing up?”

That’s sad.

I’m sad.

Mind on crack but not on the task at hand.

Voices through the dark tunnel and out the side, the light isn’t there.

LALALA I’m not listening!

WHY can’t you take a fucking hint and leave me alone?

Socially dead? Or just plain stupid?

Does mommy not give you enough attention at home so you have to constantly want mine?

Your voice makes me want to commit and jump from that window, yeah, right behind you.

“Gently” telling you to leave my presence but you can’t take a hint.

So stupid!

So dumb!

So annoying!


“I’m fine.”

Told again, “You are not your own; you were bought with a price”.

I was bought with a price?

That price is being blessed.

My jubilance is my being.

Being alive is my vision!

Two face, Blue face, One face, Red face. 

Two face is Blue face.

One face is Red face.

Blue face is Bliss.

While Red face is…Bitter…question mark?

Put on a smile.

Eyes stare, take them away.

Laugh with the old, learn with the new.

Music makes the world go round? Listen to the same song on repeat but damn girl, jam on!

Look outside, what do you see?

Swaying trees of green..the breeze visible to the eye…

Birds minding their own like humans do.

A butterfly, wings slowly flap, like a clap!

Large peace, for small beauty.

I fit in, but my puzzle is different.

Tedious jobs while goals sit along the line.

Laugh child. Laugh!

Look at the world, smell the roses

Purrs against the leg make me rumble with bumbles.

Out that window to see the same view; the street lamp, the car. Wish upon a star to see it change.

Bother others with politics, hear opions, have ANOTHER laugh child!

Sit, observe, they aren’t you!

Sit, observe, the world continues without them!

Sit, observe, you are you!




A hand in my face makes me jump. Looking I see my brother.

A goofy laugh comes from his mouth

We look alike…

“You good yo?”

My mind jumbles.

“Lolo yeah, just tired..”

I am….me…I think?