Ben Jefferson, Grade 9, Shore School
Finalist in the 'The Text Generation 2014' competition
Place two bare feet cautiously; loose dirt ledge, dusted dry,
Hands free, sheened sweat, heart shaking.
A deep erratic pendulum sickens your movement.
Look into reverse sky; the fall is as far up as down.
Wade deliberately, lifting one knee up and free,
Shiver; wine-dark sea rising over clean skin,
Recoil, averse, at each flicker of slippery contact.
Lie still; voluntary paralysis, shadow-forest
Pressing inwards. A guttering campfire extinguished,
Malevolent wail and whisper fill your head,
Electric-shock heartbeat, dry throat, stifled panic.
Remember she, whose presence you hungered for, yearned for.
Not for her body; for the steady full joy of her words to you.
Hold her, twisted and shattered, glass paper doll.
Consider the reckless emptiness of living without.
This is fear.