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An Inventory of Being

.: The astonishing poem you are about to read was written by my first cousin (once removed!), Christina, who lives in Winnipeg. Christina is in Grade 9 at Windsor Park Collegiate, the same school I attended in Grades 11 and 12.  It is derived from and based on the poem, Ellie: An Inventory of Being, by Lea Wait. She wrote her version for an assignment, and received a mark of 20/20 for her efforts. Christina is an avid reader, and her love of the written word shines through in her poetry. When I read “Christina: An Inventory of Being” for the first time, I was astonished at the level of insight and creativity in her writing. With her blessing, please enjoy, and any comments received will be forwarded to her accordingly.

Christina: An Inventory of BeingI am Christina

I am fourteen years old.

I am a student, but only in school.
I am a young woman, but a girl at heart.

At my fullest height, I am 65 inches.
I have blue eyes, but they’re sometimes green.
My hair is light brown, but once it was brown.
Sometimes my hair is fancy.
But on other days it’s dull.

I’m one of two children.
Being the older one, I have more responsibilities.
I think.

I love to draw, but I don’t really share it.
I’ve drawn a couple pictures but am afraid to show them.
Yet, I adore art.

I love the outdoors.
But despise leaving home.
In the summer my house is empty.

I believe in God.
But sometimes I feel like he’s not there.
I go to Church,
But only on special occasions.

I’ve been called a nerd.
But then again I agree.
I love to read.
Some people hate it.
But they don’t know what they’re missing.
Reading is my life.
The air that I breathe are the words that I read.
I eat the chapters.
But paper doesn’t taste good.

My younger sister is sporty.
And I’m bookish.
My Dad said that she could run me into the ground.
And I said I could read her into the ground.

People nowadays judge by appearance.
And think before they get to know.
I don’t care what people think.
Especially about me.

I’m a proud Italian.
Yet I don’t like spaghetti.
I’m a proud English.
And dying for the accent.

Some people think it doesn’t happen.
But I think different.
One day it will happen.

My name is Christina and this is 2006.

I think my cousin Christina did an amazing job adapting Lea Wait’s poem to her life and its varying point of view, at the tender age (at the time) of 14.  Ms Wait notes on her website that she was thrilled to discover that her poem is used in creative writing classes over the years, and I hope that if she ever reads this one, she’ll be pleased with what Christina wrote in her own words.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs2.5 Canada License.

Of note is that Christina is already a published author – she had a short poem published in a Canadian anthology in 2005.

14 Responses to “An Inventory of Being”

  1. Jena Says:

    Wow — it’s rare to find a fourteen-year-old with this kind of insight and the ability to put it into words. Her observations are sweet and quirky and poignant and witty, and the lines about reading and books resonate with the fourteen-year-old I used to be (and who’s still with me). “I said I could read her into the ground” — beauty. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, Randy, and encourage her to keep writing — she’s got a nice way with words.

    — J

  2. Derryl Says:

    My own fave is “The air that I breathe are the words that I read.” Even though I wrestle with that grammatically, this is a wonderfully evocative line.


  3. Frank Denton Says:

    There are some very insightful lines in Christina’s poem. For a fourteen year old she must have thought a lot about her life to this point. I hope she continues to write. Throughout her life she will have many things to say to the world. We must encourage people like her.

  4. Auntie Maggie Says:

    This very intelligent “teen” is my niece. I’ve always known her to be thoughtful and caring. I am very proud of her accomplishments and very proud to be her Aunt. Unlike her I cannot put two words together and make them sound magical. In all of the cards we have recieved from her family for birthdays etc, she always has some little, or big comments. For example in my birthday card she wrote: Wowza! Well, I can’t wait for our super bash at the cabin! We’re gonna rock the house! Make the water shake! Way to go Girl, I love you.

  5. Runte Says:

    I liked “the air that I breathe are the words that I read” too. And the title rocks.

    Glad to hear she got 20/20 on this; good to know there are still teachers out there who can solicit this quality of work from their grade 9 students.

  6. Nina Says:

    This Critter, Is My Best Friend. Christina is Really Insightful, and intelligent. Even Though i Bug Her And Tell Her How Dumb She Can Be at Times.. But..That’s Just Us. I’m Weird and Dumb Too.

    Though I Love Rhyming in Poems, Hers all Fits Together. My Favourite Line in the Poem is
    My younger sister is sporty.
    And I’m bookish.
    My Dad said that she could run me into the ground.
    And I said I could read her into the ground.


    I Think that you should take your poetry to the next step. Write another Poem, 😀 and Maybe you should consider this as a career??:D

    And I Hope To See You at the Cabin and PARTY HARDY.

    See Yah!

    Peace. Love

    P.P.S- I Wrote a Smashing Poem Too, But NOOOOOOOO One Makes a Little Do Higgy Where People Comment on it… I Got 100% On it as well.
    But Oh Well
    Not Everyone Has Luxuries

  7. Atlante Says:

    Hello Christina,

    I love your poem… I can relate to certain things in this poem. I think that one day you will be a very special talent to this world. Keep on looking in to the deepest end of the happenings around you and intake all of the worlds flaws and beauty and you will be the person that God intended you to be.

    Believe in God for He is there with you. I know because I have heard him in my life. I have understood what I need to do thanks to him. He is there.

    In Christ,


  8. Chris Says:


    It is a very good poem, but I believe it is modelled off of “Ellie – An Inventory of Being” written in 1967 by Eleanor Wait. This version is shortened, and the words are changed, but the basis is the same.

  9. Dayna Says:

    i to went to windsor park collegiate back in the day and had to do this assigment in grade 9
    it is interesting to read someone else’s take on the poem

  10. A Says:

    Yeah. there’s some good lines in this. I wrote one of these too in grade nine, and just had to give credit to the real poem Ellie an inventory of being seeing as the author didnt.

  11. taylor Says:

    uhm.. so this is COMPLETE copywrite of the poem Ellie writen in like 1964 !

  12. A.S. Says:

    Hello Christina bracket Tina 😛
    I soo love your poem,it sounds just like you.
    I just wanted you to know,
    I never read books before I met you and now its different.EDWARD :).lol.
    I’m so glad that I have a friend like you.I feel very comfortable and hyper when I hang out with you,I can be goofy and not even make sense when I talk(like usual)and dont feel like and idiot,lol.It feels like I known you for more than 1 year,even though I don’t. I hope that we stay friends until we are done high school and when we get older.
    Oh…I think that you will make a great english teacher, all the students will love you. I know you want to be one when you get older and you said you are not going to be boring and all like some teachers,lol, and I actually believe you. So I guess I’ll be seeing you on monday. 🙂

    Fr ur friend always: Asanna

    p.s: I can’t really say what part of the poem is my favorite because I love it all. -AND- Its so cool ur Italian and u dont like spaghetti(

  13. A.S. Says:

    it cut off the rest of my comment 🙁 lol well it said


  14. MJ Says:

    The original of this poem, “Ellie,” was written by Eleanor Wait in 1967. Here’s her website, with the poem in full:

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