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VII. -- poetry by Abigail Baker




choked by my own


I cannot speak

I trusted

the trees

I trusted

the oxygen

I trusted

my lungs

broken is the one who trusts

blindly believing that faith will save them

wholly knowing

their prophecy is fulfilled by

concealed falsities

fortune tellers are an image of the mind.


my eyes shut.

I find a door left ajar

I dare not peek through the crack it allows

the room is dark

I fear the unknown inside

the quiet siren sings to me softly

a haunting melody

a canary in a coal mine,

the hurt is quiet

ambushing me from behind

I trip

and feel the bones of my frail back break-


they could not bear the weight anymore-


I am dragged into the room

by the canary and

I see

all the things

I cannot speak of

my eyes open

but the darkness is the same as

in my mind

I plug my ears

but the quiet hum of danger does not disappear

there is no way out but the window

and still the canary follows me

all the way



to the ground

I am pulled

a magnet for darkness

I am.

accepting the fall

does not make it shorter

rushes of color all around me

I am no longer


is this certainty?

I know this is true-

reality does not hit

it approaches

in every slow, irking, insidious way

it knows how.

Forbearance is not

my greatest quality,

but on this pursuit of the underground,

I learn it anyway.


As I break through the dirt,

I expect my decline to reach an end.

Punishment for my worldly life,

I continue downwards

the grass disappears

the color shatters

shards in my hair

my world

fading back to black



choked by the ground

I trusted,

I fall


into sleep.


My lips tingle

Slumber fell upon them with the autumn leaves

Buried in a pumpkin patch, I cried out

but no one heard

No one listened

How could they when they had no ears?

I, numb-lipped, feeble-bodied, stayed there,

In the ground

No air to breathe


In the sound

Of the leaves


too far


Alas, another month has gone by

Without a single word spoken

Without a single day broken by opening my eyes

Alas, here I am

Here I am


Something stirred above

It tempted me to reach among the blades of dying grass

That lined the earth beyond my head

My arm wavered as it broke the ground

My eyes burning with the sun

As it shone upon my paled skin

through the magnificent clouds

I shook off the shards that were laced within my hair

my eyes were open

and I could see

Through the leaves and pumpkins and clouds,

I levitated out of the ground.

The sound of a bird flying south

called me to go home

and abandon the cold.


I opened my mouth

And a river flowed out

Lily-pads and flowers

Fish and the breeze

My words returned to me

I shall never seal my lips

I shall never be buried again

I shall only sing the songs that the river riles inside my cheeks

My lips


For the words to be said

and for the lost waters that stir



Abigail Baker is a soon-to-be 11th grade student from Spokane, Washington, who loves animal cookies and writing. Her work is forthcoming in the fall edition of Just Poetry. She realized many years ago that she hates sports and now knows that poetry is a better hobby for her.

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