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“In writing these poems, I’ve learned a little bit more about myself, ” says VOX teen staffer Hunter Buchheit. “I hope you, reader,  can discover something about yourself too.”

Artwork by Hunter Buchheit, VOX Teen Staff

VOX Teen Poetry: Three Branches – The Songbird, The Fir Tree and The Crepe Myrtle

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Author’s noteThese three poems represent different facets of me. I am self-conscious and nervous; I am strong and confident; I am thoughtful and despairing. In the first poem, I struggle with my feelings of inferiority and my habit of comparison, both things I have been trying to overcome. In the second poem, I look inward and see myself standing strong – even after all that’s happened in my life in the past year. And in the last poem, I ponder the changes that have flooded my world – and all of our world – since last February, and wonder if I’ll be ready for whatever is coming next. In writing these, I’ve learned a little bit more about myself; I hope you, reader, can discover something about yourself too.

The Songbird

As I walk across the stage, I listen to my black-shoed feet,
and with each tap-tap-tap, comes faster my heart’s beat.
I sit and am still for a moment, feeling the air – all empty,
wishing to to be rid of these nerves, so desperately trying to tempt me.
My fingers, curled, release from my knees;
a light above comes alive, and I must squint to see.

I close my eyes for a moment,
and become a young, twisted oak tree.
Above me the sun glows,
and I breathe in sweet air with my golden leaves.

Around me, tens of trees stretch,
and though they may stand taller and mightier than I,
within my trunk a songbird sings,
so I choose to pay them no mind.

I feel the sun on my branches,
and music from within;
I feel the light on my arms,
and the excitement on my skin.

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The pages in front of me boast a faint yellow glow,
their ink telling a story I – and only I – know.
I breathe in again, and now my hands rest
on the white ivory keys, shivering with unrest.
Suddenly, I am perfectly aware,
of every single page’s tear;
and of every shuffle and uncomfortable shift;
and of every word and whisper and sound sent adrift.
I lift my arms slowly, and take one last gasp in,
and with the sound of silence, music begins.

The Fir Tree

A winter wind bites,
but the fir is undaunted.
Yes, I still shine green!

The Crepe Myrtle

I squint as my computer
shines blue in my face.
My eyes drift, slowly
searching for the meaning
of the text in front of me.

No use.
My mind has gone somewhere else,
so I’ll go with it.

I feel
the masks in my pocket,
and the hot inside air,
hugging my naked face.

I listen
to the piano notes,
dancing
from my boxy gray speaker
and twirling
into my ears.

And I look,
at the window to my right
at my own reflection,
bathed in the light
of the bright cold sky.

I keep looking.

Listening.

Feeling.

Soon
a black crow,
with wings of nighttime,
flurries onto the tree –
a Crepe Myrtle –
in my front yard.

Then it is once again still
as the crow and I feel,
and look,
and listen
together.

The bird’s claws grasp on a thick limb
of the barkless tree.
It is now
a leafless one too.

It wasn’t always this way,
this bare
and exposed.
No, only a few weeks ago
it stood tall
and green
and comfortable.

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But by our clippers,
it took only a few hours
for the tree to transform,
for all that had bloomed
for all it had known
in the past year
to completely disappear.

For us too
it is a hassle,
a yearly chore.
But it must be done.
It makes the tree
beautiful and strong
once it grows back;
more so than before.

But for a time,
awhile,
it sits –
naked and shocked,
as it is now.

It will recover,
I know,
and for the better.

But something within me asks:
What if it doesn’t?

What if I don’t?

 

 

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