“I originally started the piece as a song a few years ago but never continued with it. I was looking through some of my older work a few weeks ago, and upon finding it, I decided to use those lines in a poem. I recently read Looking for Alaska by John Green, and the main character, Alaska, is an emotionally unstable girl who couldn’t really be tied down by anyone. I used this troubled free spirit idea and combined it with nature and wrote the poem.”
By Sam Van de Ven
Woodstock Union High School, Woodstock VT, grade 9
She smiled as she pushed through the willow trees
and laughed with the angry bees
as she hid behind the cattails
and hid in the thickets off the beaten trails.
She ran farther than the giant could throw
and plucked the feathers of the crow
as she ran in the empty field
from what her dark shadow revealed.
She ran races past the nimble deer
and refused to admit any fear
as she slowed under knitted branches of the wood
defending herself on the grounds of misunderstood.
She coughed up wiry grains of sand
polluted with the truths of the mystical lands
as she stole flowers from the wild florist
drinking poisonous mushrooms of the dark forest.
Climbing into the bark of her mind that was overactive,
she said it was never they way she thought she’d live;
problems were one thing she’d never admit
she simply ran a few rings out of orbit.
She stretched out her arms, trusting she could fly;
she stepped off a cloud, believing she’d never die;
the winds carried her softly to a place she better belonged
if you listen closely, you can still hear her song.