The Journey of My Name
The name is Jayla
in a different universe Jala
Given to me by a young mother
a new mother
a Christian mother
Victorious Woman of God, it meant
overtime: changed, reversed, made anew
In the next five years, the name would describe a young child of light and joy
In the seven years after, the name would conform, become lost,
In the three years to come, the name would find its meaning again
but only after a long search
only after the long years of mistaken identity
The name has since found home in a teenage girl who is curious and intuitive
who still searches for meaning, but is no longer lost
Viñales, Cuba Reviews
Anonymous: Beautiful place.
Marcia Gibbs: Peaceful. Quiet. Serene.
Mike County: Good food.
Mya Perez: When I first got off the bus, I was embraced by a warm breeze,
welcomed by smiling faces, nose hugged by the smells of clean air and freshly cooked beans.
Just like in the movies, the aroma led me to a quaint restaurant.
Painted with the colors of the country’s flag,
red white and blue,
sitting in the intricately woven chairs,
menu on my lap,
guava juice in my right hand,
handle of my luggage in the other,
Gazed at the towns rolling green hills.
Gazed at the town’s children running wild in dirt roads.
Gazed at the town’s people who lived in peace.
Here I thought, this is the place I will spend the rest of my life
I convince myself that people are essentially bad.
Always reminding myself that true human nature is selfish and wicked.
Constantly thinking that we, the humans, will be the cause of our own extinction.
Though how could I not think these things?
How could you blame me for never being able to share a story in which mankind was good.
I sit in these history classes being taught over and over again about wars, battles
and just a few of the world’s greatest evils.
I try to remind myself not to give up hope.
Give them a chance.
But I don’t see hope in my future,
because I don’t see a future for the world.
JAYLA SHEFFIELD is an incoming junior at Pomona High School in California. Sheffield aspires to have a career in journalism working for Teen Vogue. Some of her favorite activities include skateboarding, listening to music, reading, and watching Avatar: The Last Airbender.