“I Am” by Mary O’Brien

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Drone photo of Fire Island, courtesy of Eric Baker.

I am confident

I wonder about the origins of the sea

I hear tales of fantasy and bravery

I see words on a page written so carefully.

I want the world to be a better place

I am Mary O’Brien

I pretend that I am characters from Harry Potter

I feel connected to some characters that I read about

I touch the crisp pages of books

I worry about my books as if they were people

I cry about a future cold and grey

I am Mary O’Brien

I understand what it feels like to be ignored

I say that it’s acceptable to be proud, just not too proud

I dream of better things for my future

I try to stand up for myself and for others

I hope that humans learn to forgive and forget

I am Mary O’Brien


Eleven-year old Mary O’Brien is a student at Fire Island Union Free School District. Mary’s 5th Grade Instructor, Gabriel Donovan, gave her students the “I am” assignment in recognition of April being National Poetry Month. The students of Fire Island School continue to learn remotely, as they have been since Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s mandated closure of schools due to the coronavirus pandemic which began March 16, 2020.

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