Summer in Chicago

By Emmy Song
10th grade, Montgomery Blair High School, MD

With lines from "A New Beginning: Ondelee Perteet" by Carlos Javier Ortiz, a Pulitzer Center reporting project

this is summer in chicago and this
is how we live. roughened feet pound
on burning sidewalks in pursuit of
safety, a staccato beat screaming of
panic and fear but never shock because
this is summer in chicago and this
is how we live. the tune of an ice cream
truck winds through the streets, steadily
tinkering on under the jagged rhythm of
relentless gunshots, a broken record
playing through the night because
this is  summer in chicago and this
is how we live. a city of madmen wondering
if  they can live to see the next sunrise, a
city of mamas sitting 'round the corner
waiting for their children to come home, a
city of gamblers tossing a coin every
time they leave the house. it is a matter
of life and death and this is how we live
because it is summer in chicago.


Emmy Song

Emmy Song is a sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. As a poet and a writer for her school's newspaper, she uses journalism and creative writing as a tool to speak out on social issues.

Read more winning entries from the 2018 Fighting Words Poetry Contest