On the first day...
Juniper’s in blossom.
Tears of dew unbutton branches, trace gnarled fingers on the glass.
Perfume rides in on bittered breeze,
But no one dares to close the window.
We shrink at strangers’ eyes we find, caught in the reflection.
On the saddest day…
Bittersweets are blooming.
Seems their scents ensconce us all, drip bruises on our ribs.
Every breath swells sore.
Exhales leave us hollow.
I hear another’s sigh, then quickly turn away.
In this silence I have learned how much emptiness can fill.
On the lost day...
Orchids soon are wilting.
We snip each other’s wings, too angry to ask names.
Long ago we lost our reasons.
Yet as I hold a hand of feathers, the same chipped nails
Belong to eyes of blue and green and grey.
We have forgotten in our lust,
Fear prefers no color.
On the best day...
Poppies lose their petals.
To my surprise, a mother nursed her babe.
Sorrow never told us children bide here too.
A dark man with lonely skin broke his lips in smile.
He called the child beautiful and never asked
If she held a daughter or a son.
On the last day...
Something is succulent today.
Though when I open my eyes, I find
I see no flowers in the dark.
I wonder for how long I have been blind.
Soft fingers grasp my wrist, press my palm against the glass.
A woman whispers a lovely word in my ear.
Strange I never knew the color of her hand.
So fortunate to learn this piece awarded me third place as one of the 2016 INTERNATIONAL POETRY AND STORYTELLING CONTEST WINNERS!
The World Affairs Council of Harrisburg does a smashing job of connecting local students to the world. From climate change resources to internship programs, they offer excellent resources at absolutely no cost. Check out their site for information on cash prizes for high school students writing within the theme of peacekeeping!