The Arrow 2024 – Post #4

Welcome to the 2024 Arrow Online. So excited to share some incredible art & writing by Hackley’s middle schoolers!

This is our fourth post of the season. This post highlights a range of writing from across the middle school.

Stay tuned as over the last couple weeks of this 2023-24 school year, we will continue to share all kinds of visual arts and writing.


Ode To the Goal

By Andrew G. ’30


I hope to find the goal

Figuratively and literally

The ultimate end

To any possession

It is what any

lacrosse player seeks

The common objective

Players are

Like hawks

hunting their food


enemies to those

with the most skill

Ode to goals

The grail

of most sports



By Jack F. ’30


You smell freshly fried

As if you’re a baked potato

Out of the oven


You look beautiful tan brown

like a monkey in the sun


You are my dad’s love in food

And can cheer me up

when I am down


You feel luscious and damp

when you enter my taste buds

perfectly made


You are delectable

Salty and fresh

French Fries


9 Ways of Seeing Water

By Tristan S. ’30



A glass of crisp fresh water,

clear as the glass itself.



An everyday thing,

used for cleaning, drinking, and fun.



A mysterious liquid,

hiding what lurks in it from the naked eye.

Terrifying and deadly.



The literal definition of summer fun,

cooling taste after being,

in the scorching sun and golden rays.



Trying so hard to be free,

its state trying to spread as far as possible

Yet always being contained in a bottle.



Always falling from the sky one way or another,

making the ground wet, miserable, and impossible to play.



Sandy yellowish ogre beaches,

with the feeling of static on a TV screen,

wet from retreating sea water tumbling like the howling wind,

also known as good childhood memories.



A vast unexplored silent expanse of land, teaming with colorful life.

It seems to call my name.



In the end,

it’s the building blocks for life,

a necessity for everyone.


Where I’m From

By Kai H. ’30


I am from pens.

I am from old cottages and hammocks

that have been passed down for generations; they each lie perfectly nestled on two trees.

It felt like laying on a field full of flowers, calm, quiet.

I am from the Dogwood tree,

the Hickory saplings, young and excited to grow.

I’m from fireworks and peace.

I’m from happiness.

I’m from Jaime and Roger.

I’m from smart minds and kindness,

from “go play”

and “I think everyone’s tired”.

I’m from happiness

when I look out at a deep blue sky.

I’m from New York and Denmark and Canada and Michigan,

pears and apples,

from the tooth I lost to a lunchbox

the day I moved out of chaos.

I am from rock climbing, swimming, whittling,

strong minds and hearts, and caring for others.


“The Universe Unfolds As It Should”

By Henry K. ’30

Reminiscing on Thanksgivings with her mother, a woman wandered around a book sale as the leaves crunched beneath her feet, and the November air bit her cheeks. Then, she saw it, the New York Times Cookbook. The woman flipped through it. And there it was, the stuffing recipe from back when she was a child. She remembered sitting in her childhood bedroom on Thanksgiving, the smell of rosemary drifting in from the kitchen. She closed the book quietly and her eyes too. And at that moment, her mother was with her.


The Tennis Ball

By James C. ’30


These guys are ruining my hair.

When I got out of the can, I was bouncy, fluffy, bright and glorious.

Now after hours of suffering, my fuzz is flat,

my skin is pale,

and I have lost the energy to bounce high.


I cannot take any more of this.

I am tired and have felt the harsh strings of both opponents’ rackets.

As I soar through the air, I am happy to fly in peace,

but then of course, the suffering resumes as I am violently struck with a forehand.


Despite this harsh punishment,

I have been able to see the different emotions the two players show after each point, one happy, one not so happy.

Of course, the not-so happy one takes all of his anger out on me by striking me harder.

Plus, whenever I come close to the players, I receive the pleasure of

watching the beads of sweat drip down their necks

and smelling the stench of their body odor.

But of course, that is my sole purpose in life,

to smell body odor and get furiously whacked by tennis rackets.


On the hopefully final point, when I think it is almost over,

I am back at it, being bashed in a tiebreaker. When will this end?


It was finally the last point for sure.

A few shots in, one player hit me out, and the other player was finally given the victory.

Personally, I didn’t care who won; all that mattered to me was

not being furiously whacked anymore.


Memories and Mash

By Kate F. ’30


The sun slid down the horizon on a crisp September day. With every gust of wind, you could hear Mother Nature whispering: Fall, fall, fall. You could smell the beautiful aromas of apples begging to be picked. I was maybe six months old. The sun had just gone down, and the stars had only started to wake up. They blinked a drowsy white light. It’s hard to separate memories from my parents’ pictures and videos of me, but I think this one is a real memory.

I was wearing a pair of red PJ’s that made me feel like I was wrapped in a cloud. They were covered in white polkadots, and had a reindeer embroidered on each foot. I was sitting in a black, “clip to the table”-type kiddie chair.

My mother placed a translucent plastic bowl and metal spoon in front of me on the table. Like the bowl, the table was small and old. The light brown wood grain of the table made the food in the bowl – mashed potatoes  – stand out. The mashed potatoes were almost the same color as the table legs, off-white. I could tell how they would taste: like a blanket, fresh out of the dryer – warm, comforting, and bland. They looked delicious; fluffy and light, but also somehow creamy and dense. Then my mom, with a great big smile showing her gleaming white teeth lovingly sat down next to me.

She picked up the spoon, and like a knife cutting butter with little effort, scooped the perfect amount of mashed potatoes for a little baby mouth. I felt a slow, warm, wet trickle of drool slide down my cheek and then my chin and onto my precious, polka-dotted pajamas. I was ready to eat! Gently, she let me suck the mash (short for mashed potatoes) off the spoon. I have a twin brother, and after I got my spoon half (it wasn’t really a spoonful, it was a spoonhalf), he got his. This was good because I savored it for as long as I could, but as soon as the next spoonhalf was ready, I swallowed and slurped.

This memory was playing in my mind when my baby sister Grace had finally come of age and was ready for real food – mashed potatoes. The first real food you eat (after bottles) has to be memorable and lovingly prepared, especially if it is the same food your siblings and parents ate first. For years, I would watch my mother make me this delicious snack. Eventually, I helped make the mash, and I practiced a lot. So, when my family trusted me to make this delicacy for my sister for her first meal, I was honored. My mom had told me what was going to happen only a few hours before I was to make them. I got tasting spoons ready, a fork to mash the potatoes, a knife to cut the butter, the milk, a bowl for all the ingredients, and a spoon and bowl for my sister’s mash. I set out to meticulously prepare them, chasing the memory of my first meal. It was such a pleasure to be a part of this memory for her. I hope she remembers it as vividly as I do. Maybe, like me, the memory of the meal and the pictures taken will get mashed together.


Ways to See the Ocean

By Katie S. ’30


Calming and cooling,

a mystifying blue

as clear as glass

and as hypnotic as a siren’s song


Dark and harsh,

the navy waves crash over me,

filling my lungs with the deep scent of ocean salt

and looking for a sliver of hope in the dark murky waters


A looking glass showing me what hides beneath the soft shapes that are the waves,

under the surface, I see the coral where the fish play hide and seek.

I see the trenches where the deep ocean creatures go to think,

and I see the currents where sea turtles raise their young.


Healing and mending,

fixing what is broken and misshapen,

the ocean heals sadness and rage, depression and loneliness

as much as it heals our cuts and wounds.

Both can leave scars that run deep.


Cold and cruel,

the ocean will hang on to you.

It decides when you come and go.

You can only hope it will give you its mercy

and if you receive it, don’t look back.

Run as fast as you can

because some

aren’t so lucky.



Bouncy and happy,

the ocean will play,

splashing you ever so slightly.

It will tease you and laugh,

bending the rules for its own enjoyment.


Two faced,

the ocean puts on a mask

lulling you into a false sense of security

before hurting you

like a knife to your stomach.



By Josie M. ’29


During recess,

in the library,

my friends and I

pull up chairs

and dump the tiles,


on the wooden table.

Each team of two

takes twenty-one,

and flips them over.

Some of us sort them,

some of us don’t.


Then we begin,

making our words,

and creating crosswords.

We dump,

and we peel

and rearrange tiles.


And when the pile

in the middle

is almost gone,

we hurry to finish

our words

and use up our letters.



when your crosswords is done,

exclaim, “Peel!”

before someone else

beats you to it.


If you do,

we’ll check your words,

and if they’re all valid,

you win!

We play fast,

hoping that we’ll win


it’s time

for lunch.


The Loop

By Norah M. ’29


I have many lives and many families,

many stories and many milestones,

many romances, and many heartbreaks,

many puzzles, and many solutions.

I’ve experienced days.






And with years, comes knowledge.

I’m solid.



Through crises,



and Crayolas,

I do my job.

I protect.

I lend a safe frame,

for comfort and care.

I am a shell,

a fresh slate.

I seem like the light,

but I’m only the lantern,

like the gift,

while I’m merely the wrapping.

Like the story,

but I’m just the cover.

I am a host and a viewer.

A caretaker and a campaign,

a safe haven and a battlefield,

a house and a home.


People Are Like

By Stella M. ’29


People are like rocks

Multifaceted, complex

Hiding secret treasure within

Sometimes delicate and broken

Barely held together


People are like books

Misleading, intricate

The outside does not reflect what’s within

Never quite what you expect

Some boring, some captivating


People are like puzzles

confusing, perplexing

Often different then you expect

When you figure them out it all makes sense

They are made up of many things


People are like equations

basic, simple

The answer isn’t always what you expect

More complicated than they seem

Something new comes and it all changes


People are like poetry

Inspiring, quirky

There are endless different types

Beautiful and wonderful

Sometimes they don’t make sense


A Dog’s Thanksgiving

By Caroline R. ’28


Every year, the humans gather

They sit all together, surrounding food

When I was a not-so-wise puppy, I didn’t know there was food up there

It always smelled so good

Why can’t I have any of that food?

The big, fat, juicy turkey gleaming on it’s plate

I can just see it from down here

The humans laugh and talk, busy with their food

The turkey is ignored for a few seconds.

Now’s my chance.

I sneak,

quickly trot under the table,

just barely brushing against their legs.

I’m drooling all over the floor.

I want that turkey.

I need that turkey.

I see an opening;

I crawl out and secure a spot on a chair.

The humans all turn to face me now,

and before I can close my jaws around the turkey,

I’m yanked down from the table,

…and once again they leave me by myself

with only a bowl of kibble

and no turkey.


Don’t Look Down

By Emerson P. ’28


“Hurry up! We’re almost at the top!”

My legs are burning, wobbling under me as I climb. Getting up to see the sunrise was supposed to be fun, but I’m hating every second of it. The cool wind is biting my face and whipping my hair around in a frenzied dance as I steady myself against the metal ladder of the fire tower, reassured by the smooth balance it brings. I breathe deep, feeling how the fresh air fills my lungs with a sweet, cold taste. I call back up, making sure my voice is calm and steady, “Coming!” I pause for a second with my feet on cool metal, calming the swooping feeling in my stomach. So close, I tell myself. I look to the side of me, careful to keep my eyes up as I take in the slowly lightening sky with pink wisps of clouds against a periwinkle night. I reach above me, and pull myself onto the next bar and then the next. I barely feel the tightness in my throat anymore or the lurching of my stomach. I regain my confidence and approach the last ladder rung, but just as I’m reaching up, the rusty metal bar that’s holding my weight breaks. Every muscle in my body clenches in terror, and I feel my stomach plummet. I quickly grasp the beam above and bring my feet back onto solid metal, but I make the mistake of glancing down. Panic spikes through my veins, and I become lightheaded. I see stars in my vision, painful bursts of light against the deep green of pine trees below. I’m falling, I’m falling, I’m falling… The last thing I see before my vision blacks out is a golden egg melting into streaks of blush colored sky.


From the Sun

By Nora E. ’28


I am from beach chairs,

from Sun Bum sunscreen and Island Surf bathing suits.

I am from boardwalks leading down to the beach

(Warm, cozy, familiar, sand on your feet).

I am from waves crashing on the shore

and with the satisfying rumble when it hits the sand.


I’m from bonfires on the beach

and matching dresses with my sister on the 4th,

from Claire and Grace.


I’m from my dad teasing my grandma about her strict rules

and playing guitar under the stars.

From being told to swim on an angle if you are stuck in a rip tide

and always being urged to try your best.

I am from going to church on Sundays,

and being amazed by the stained glass.

I’m from New York

with barbeques every weekend

and pizza on Mondays.

From my Uncle bringing fireworks on the beach

and the whole family going to Jets games


I’m from the family photo where my sister, brother, and I make a sand castle,

from the watch that gets passed down when you turn sixteen,

from my great grandma,



and to my sister,

leaving their legacies behind in the watch.



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