In December, Scarlett Gonzalez wrote a poem to express her emotion of being separated from someone close. At the time, she had no idea where that poem would lead her.

In December, Scarlett Gonzalez wrote a poem to express her emotion of being separated from someone close. At the time, she had no idea where that poem would lead her.

Gonzalez is now scheduled to read her poem before the May 3 performance of "Romeo and Juliet" at the Ohio Theatre.

Gonzalez, 16, wrote the poem, "Saint Michael," after she thought her family might be moving south. The move didn't occur and Gonzalez later saw an open call in Columbus Alive that BalletMet was looking for poets.

"At the time, they didn't mention any age or anything so I didn't put my age in there. I thought they wouldn't take me," the Hilliard teen said.

Two weeks later, when she found out she was selected to read her poem, she was also shocked to find out the other poets with whom she would share the stage.

She will perform next to several other accomplished poets - one is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Denison University and has written eight books of poetry.

"I'm a little nervous," she said. "I kind of feel like the underdog. The other poets are professional," she said.

Her father, Nicholas, is very proud.

"I'm certainly looking forward to that night. I was very proud and excited. Then when I found out who she was going to be on stage with, I was extremely flabbergasted," he said.

Gonzalez grew up in an artistic family. Her father is an artist who focuses on painting. Her grandmother does decorative paintings. And her mother was a singer.

"It was not unusual for her to come home and find her mother, myself and her grandmother reading books and listening to Mozart," Nicholas Gonzalez said. "I've always encouraged her to read since before she could read."

In fact, Nicholas said it was losing Scarlett's mother to breast cancer when Scarlett was 12 that prompted her to turn to writing poetry.

"That was her way of coping," he said.

Her father continues to support her.

"She has been sending her poems in the past year to different publishing houses and almost every one she sends in has asked her to publish," he said proudly.

"Hopefully, she'll go into a creative writing career," he said.

Gonzalez, who currently works at Donatos Pizza in Hilliard, attended Hilliard Darby High School for one year before her father signed her out. She recently received her G.E.D.

"I actually hope that when I get older, I could write a book," she said.

She said she plans to study literature in college.

For information on how to buy tickets to see Scarlett Gonzalez read "Saint Michael" before "Romeo and Juliet," go to www.balletmet.org.

calexis@thisweeknews.com