Nina Faynshtayn

Pressures, Precious

He tugs my braids
Shouting in my ear
Teacher whispers he likes me
So I don’t care

He drives me home
Where else can I go?
Taxi drivers take payments in kisses
Fare: one per ride

He leans towards me
Asking if I’m ready
After three dates
And no place to hide

He kneels in front of me
With a shiny ring plopped out
Say yes, say yes
Passers-by hold still and cheer

About the author: Nina Faynshtayn is a 16-year-old activist, writer, and self-proclaimed politico from West Hartford, Connecticut. She dedicates her time to writing about a wide range of topics and genres including international policy, activism, arts, physical sciences, and poetry. In the past, she has received recognition from the Scholastic Writing Competition, and has published works in The Progressive Teen national magazine. Her hope is to pursue policymaking, especially on public health and the environment, in addition to the field of medicine. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, improvising on the piano, and cooking Ukrainian foods.