Poetic Inspiration Is Part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration

Teen Poet Honors Dr. King’s Call to Help Others

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream,” speech during the Aug. 28, 1963, march on Washington, D.C. | Credit: marines.mil / Wikimedia Commons

The theme of “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’‘‘ from a speech Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made in Montgomery, Alabama in 1957, will resonate throughout the annual MLK Day celebrations taking place between January 12 through the holiday on January 16. 

Dos Pueblos Sophomore Lauren Lee will read her poem ‘Broken Treasures’ as part of the MLK Day holiday celebration on Jan. 16. | Credit: Courtesy

It’s certainly a message that Lauren Lee connects with. “Helping others and making friends even when it’s hard, it’s like the light and love we bring to our communities. And everyone seems to be out to get something in our society. But true friendship means supporting someone because you want to, not because you need to,” said the Dos Pueblos High School sophomore, whose poem, “Broken Treasures” was selected as one of three student poems to be presented on stage at the Arlington Theatre as part of a 90-minute program which begins at 9 a.m.

Lee, who read her poem on the radio station KCBX FM 90 as part of the lead up to the MLK festivities, and previously won a PTA Reflections contest for her poetry, is excited to honor the legacy of Dr. King. “My favorite quote from him ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,’” she shared. 


Broken Treasures

by Lauren Lee (10th grade)

People are like oceans.

Layers and layers and layers

of feelings.

Fears.

Strengths.

Secrets.

Weaknesses.

Dreams.

Most people only see the surface.

The serene Sunlight Zone that says everything’s fine.

But others

are willing to swim the extra mile.

They break past the surface,

swimming and swimming and swimming.

It’s difficult.

It’s worth it.

Because treasure isn’t found at the surface.

It’s

down

down

down

at the very bottom.

(hidden)

When you find it,

it’s precious.

Cause you can only find it if they let you.

And they only let you find it if you’re willing to

dive deep.

Take the risks.

Face the danger.

Swim past the zones of embarrassment.

Trauma.

Shame.

So.

When they finally open their chest of broken treasures,

don’t take any.

Recognize their struggles,

their pain,

their sorrow.

Appreciate what they’ve gone through.

Don’t pity their shattered remains.

Instead,

help them put themselves back together

into something stronger.

Because isn’t that what friends are for?

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