8th Grader And Calumet City Poet Draws Inspiration From Local Heroes

An eighth grader in the south suburbs wrote an email to CBS 2 that couldn't be ignored. She's a poet and CBS 2's Jim Williams was happy to spread the word about the budding wordsmith.

Video Transcript

- An eighth-grader in the south suburbs wrote us an email we just couldn't ignore. She's a poet, and expressed disappointment her work wasn't getting more attention. So we're happy to have CBS 2's Jim Williams spread the word about the budding wordsmith.

JIM WILLIAMS: Melody Ilesanmi, a poet at 13, finds the right words when they're needed most.

MELODY ILESANMI: I love my dad so much. He really is a fighter. Whenever I would frown, he'd make my smile brighter.

JIM WILLIAMS: The daughter of Nigerian immigrants grabbed her pen when dad Fred battled cancer.

MELODY ILESANMI: My dad won the battle, and as a daughter I am proud. He beat the dreadful disease. Sorry, cancer, three's a crowd.

FRED ILESANMI: I was in tears. I couldn't believe she can put everything in poetry. And we fought and we conquered the cancer.

JIM WILLIAMS: This poem pays tribute to frontline workers.

MELODY ILESANMI: I salute our heroes everywhere in every time zone, fighting with us so we don't have to fight alone. You are a gift that keeps giving, so we can keep living. You're fighting in the darkness braving the belly of the beast.

JIM WILLIAMS: Melody discovered her love of poetry in the third grade, and relished how her verses made others feel.

MELODY ILESANMI: They would either say you're making me cry or they would be very happy, and it just brought joy to other people.

JIM WILLIAMS: Now an eighth-grader at Wentworth Junior High in Calumet City--

MELODY ILESANMI: My name is Melody Ilesanmi. I'm at Wentworth Junior High, class of 2021.

JIM WILLIAMS: She's featured on the school's website under the banner "rising star creates beautiful message."

MELODY ILESANMI: I know that we can still write, though we seem to be defeated. Maybe this fight is exactly what was needed.

JIM WILLIAMS: On Inauguration Day, Melody found inspiration from another young poet Amanda Gorman.

AMANDA GORMAN: --Americans and the world.

MELODY ILESANMI: It gave me motivation, because thinking she got up there, and who knows? Maybe I will one day, too.

JIM WILLIAMS: Melody Ilesanmi, a safe bet at 13.

MELODY ILESANMI: So thank you, our heroes. I know you have this in the bag. Thank you for continuing to push on and never waving the white flag.

JIM WILLIAMS: Melody's proud. Dad told us she is a straight-A student. No surprise there. And she'll be published in a book that includes the work of other young poets. We're live. Jim Williams, CBS 2 News.