A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

“Don’t Worry, Ma” by Kyle Gerstel

He sits at the desk
beside Teacher,
scribbling words on the back
of the coloring sheet
while the rest of the class enjoys
the playground
and each other.
His mom asks her maternal comrades
what to do,
if he’s okay,
but he knows better.

“Don’t worry, ma,”
he says. “This is what
I have to do.”


“Don’t worry, ma,”
he says. “I’m gonna
change the world.”


“Don’t worry, ma,
I’m writing something
that’ll make ‘em want to be my friend.”

Kyle Gerstel, 2022/23 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate cohort member, read this poem to open our 2022/23 Encore Series event with Pete Souza on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. Learn more about SAL’s Youth Poet Laureate program here.

Posted in Student WritingYouth Poet Laureate2022/23 SeasonEncore Series