Loyalsock poetry inspired by the pandemic

Students in Beth Rohrer’s seventh grade language arts class at Loyalsock Township Middle School studied free verse poetry. They read free verse poetry from the novel “Out of the Dust,” by Karen Hesse.

“Out of the Dust” is set during the Dust Bowl. Students were asked to write their own free verse poems mimicking the style of Hesse. Below are poems students wrote about their COVID-19 quarantine experience.

‘March 13, 2020’


2 weeks off

Students dash out of school

Thinking they are finally getting a break

Track practice on as usual

The smell of freshly cut grass

Voices filling the field

Excitement over the new season

Two weeks over

No school

Two more weeks pass

No school

Not so much fun anymore …

— Layla Bagal


The world is ending and we–

we are all stuck in our boxes.

Our boxes that we call houses

because we are under quarantine.

2020 is the year of boxes.

Tiny apartment boxes

penthouse boxes

and boxes with white picket fences.

The only place we are safe

is within our boxes.

Outside we must be 6 feet–


with masks and gloves and sanitizer.

I believe now that we will never leave our boxes,

To return to the box that used to be school.

— Dakota Fluck

‘The school is quarantined’

Empty halls,

Abandoned classrooms,

And filled lockers.

For the first time in a while,

The floors take a breath.

Ghosts of laughter

Are left behind,

The world has changed

It’s like a moment frozen in time

That leaves the world filled with stress

At its prime.

— Ava Pulizzi


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