Writing: ‘The Gangsta Gardener’ by Nyla Skinner

This piece placed first for middle school submissions in the Ánimo Voices Competition, which invited students to write about innovators, upstanders, visionaries, or rebels that have made a difference in their local or broader communities. The competition was an opportunity to motivate, recognize, and celebrate our strong student voices through writing and art.

This two-voice poem is meant to be heard as well as read.

The Gangsta Gardener

I look outside and see

 

Fast food

McDonalds

 

Pizza Hut

 

I decided to do something about it

 

They call me the gangsta gardener

 

Ron Finley

I have one goal

 

We must plant our seed and provide the water

We must thrive

 

I open their eyes to a new world

 

The inspiration is an endless tide

Their hands covered in dirt

 

They learn responsibility

 

 

Together, we’ll make it better

Together

Every night for dinner we have

Fast food

 

Burger King

 

Jack ‘n’ the box

 

Someone took action

 

They call him the gangsta gardener

Ron Finley

 

He’s made us realize

We must plant our seed and provide the water

 

We rise from the prison of fast food

 

We see the beauty of our fruits and vegetables

The inspiration is an endless tide

 

Our minds fertilized

 

We plant a new chapter

Together we start the change

 

Together

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