Billy Waters took Poetry Writing class in fall 2021. He enjoyed writing, and thought he’d “explore something new, and give it a try,” said this Reinhardt sophomore and athlete. Following the only guidelines for the weekly class assignment- to write about something meaningful in your life – Billy created works driven by his passion for sports, his aspirations, and the greatest inspirations from his family.
“I enjoyed learning about others and their experiences through their writing, which opened opportunities for me to explore my own thoughts, comfortably, through poetry. I decided to give poetry a try, and it offered a new way of expressing myself,” shared Billy.
Bill Walsh, assistant professor of English and Poetry Writing instructor, shared his joy in Billy ‘trying something new,’ and swiftly acknowledged his talent as a poet. "Billy Waters is all athlete.” said Walsh. “Within the battleground of competition, the greatest works are formed through metaphor, and Billy has found a perfect blend of metaphor in his life to write poetry that has a universal appeal, an understanding of the struggles of life, but more so, of the resilience of overcoming all obstacles. Few young men have this ability. Billy's images and narrative tug at every human emotion."
Waters is pursuing history education toward a career as teacher and coach. “I've always had a passion for coaching, and I'm very excited to coach football, wrestling, and track and field.” Actively involved in many activities and with varied interests, Billy’s latest endeavor with poetry extends beyond writing – it celebrates an openness to learning and growth from simply “trying something new.”
“The Day All The Windows Were Broken”
by Billy Waters
After a hard wrestling practice in January
I was heading to the locker room
My coach rushed in saying it’s my mother.
My mother is panicked on the phone call,
Screaming and crying about Burt
Breaking all of our windows.
Slamming his fists through our walls with ease
Like a first period pin against a Freshman
He punched my mother
And gave her a black eye
The glass and sheet rock wasn’t enough for his fists
Our caretaker Sofia tried taking him down
But she failed.
Racing down down McGinnis Ferry Road
Putting all my weight into the gas pedal
So fast that if i’d been pulled over
I was certainly going to jail.
The police has Burt pinned down onto a stretcher
In the ambulance Burt is
Cool as a cat but
He has a confused and forgiving look in his face
As he stares back at me.
Burt is brought to a solution center
Where they take kids like him who have been
Flung onto the mat
And need help
That night my mother and I pray
Before going to sleep
And I ask
“Why did God give Burt autism?”
“Sometimes God puts obstacles in your life
To challenge you”, she said.
That night I return to the broken windows
And caved in holes in the walls
The wind howled through the shattered glass
I look up to the stars
Staring at the moon wondering
If Burt is doing the same.