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06/06/11 5:00AM

In this week's Young Writers Project piece, Julia Hancock-Song, a ninth grader at Pacem Learning Community in Montpelier, explores her past in a dreamlike sequence of images.  For more great student writing go to youngwritersproject.org


I wander back along empty, dusty roads

past this time and that
past telephone wires and hills and drive-through fast-food units
past a life that re-begins in slow-motion
past an imposing brick building
I wander through the house
until I find the scar
on my cheek
and change my mind,
setting the skin-toned makeup back down
on my mother's bathroom counter
I am not broken
it will not hide
never broken
I wander away from the mirror
away from the past
and suddenly I'm running
through bare, empty rooms full of desks and chairs
all the same
all dark
all waiting
I'm running for the stairs now
expressly forbidden
and out
past the coffin-shaped stone benches
past the sickly grass
up a side street that quickly
becomes dusty and deserted
under my feet
I run past drive-through fast-food joints
past telephone wires and hills and jukeboxes
past that time,
past this
I find a river
and a birch tree like arms
and a kayak
and I slow down, but keep moving
though I mark the place in my mind
with a little note for later-
I think that this is the tree
I would like to be enlightened under.
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