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A Girl Named Sally

This post is the second in a series about the Poets in Schools writing program at Burke High School. Read the previous entry by Jonathan Sanchez about his work with the program.

Below is a story written by a Burke High School student last fall, inspired by a painting at the Gibbes.

We ask the students to use their five senses and to always be specific. As former South Carolina poet laureate Archibald Rutledge once said: “A Cherokee rose, not just a rose. A swallowtail butterfly, not just a butterfly…Always the details.”

We also encourage weirdness. Good writing is often a little twisted. Nobody wants to read a novel about a Captain obsessed with a run-of-the-mill black whale.

—Jonathan Sanchez, guest blogger and director of Poets in Schools at Burke High School

The Green Fan (Girl of Toledo, Spain), 1912, by Robert Henri

Inspired by The Green Fan (Girl of Toledo, Spain) by Robert Henri.

Sally lives on King Street. It is hot and windy and she is mad. Her mom and dad are doctors. Sally is a model. Her dad is in New York and her mother is in Atlanta with her new husband.

She is also a nurse and right before this moment, she was running down the street from the police because she was protesting in front of Piggly Wiggly due to their high prices on milk.

In the background, there are cameras flashing, whispering, and the constant sounds of printers and chatter. The only thing she wants now is to be released from jail so she can go back home and watch “Phineas and Ferb.” Plus, the police station smells like mildew, bleach, and coffee.

In her left hand, there is a pack of blue Kool-Aid and a bus ticket. She looks frightened and tired because she was running, but now she is surrounded by police and they are about to take her Kool-Aid.

—Raven Ware, 9th grader, AP Academy, Charity Scruggs’ class

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