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What I've Done -- poetry by Stella Cowan

Beauty is in the blood

that makes me,

and shame is watching it run.

These hands ache from what I’ve done.

Brilliant stripes of red to help me add the sum

of every night, every fight

every lock the door and turn off the light.

Bandages cover cuts, not truth

I can smile without showing a tooth.

Mouth full of words that will never be free,

thought pounding, never released,

a life’s worth of moments

with nowhere to scream.

The equation is unraveling,

no pencil can save me.

Red as crayons, red as lies,

red as pictures in my mind,

reflected and drawn into my eyes.


Stella Cowan is an artist, writer, and ice cream addict. Though she's only a Sophomore in high school, she has taught creative writing courses for the Juvenile Justice System, illustrated children's books, and is hoping to publish her first novel by next summer. Poetry is her favorite form of emotional release---along with snuggling her adorable black cat. She lives in Alton, Illinois, right alongside the Mississippi River.

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