Roots & Public Intoxication


The man has a pair of dry, calloused hands
Once milky pale, now weathered and brown like old leather boots
Rummaging through the dirt,
Digging his uneven fingernails deeper and deeper
Looking for the past, wanting to help the future
Futilely searching for remnants of history
A sharp object snaps his reverie
Of awards, handshakes, and recognition of archeological wonders
Trembling slowly, picking up the tarnished tool to scrape away the earth
Slight breathing, slow, swirling movements
A girl appears on the potshard, her face shining and bold
Copper and gold mesh with the earthy tones of her skin
The paint is smooth across the white glazed clay
Her eyes are black like a raven’s wing, staring with such intensity
At the beholder, that he loses himself in her eyes
Even after thousands of years, her profile is prominent and untouched
Her cheekbones jutting out, her lips full and perusing
The man lifts his hands and runs them over his face
Feeling the same features, seeing that his eyes, too, are a window into his past
The key he has been searching for has been inside him all along
There, coursing through his blood, is the same strength and valor
That the girl on the shard, the painter, and the bones around him once had
He stands up, clutching the piece of pottery tightly in his hand
His muscles singing with pain from being bent over so long
From his feet grow long, gnarled branches, locking him deep into the ground
The man has found his roots.

Public Intoxication

The night is old
Daybreak is fast approaching
Your head is pounding with emotions
The beer bottle slick with sweat in your hand
No family to love you
No friends to laugh with you
Well, one friend.
Each sip makes you shudder, makes you recoil
But you keep reaching for it
The demon is a fire mutt inside of you
As you stumble across the street
You feel the hatred, the revenge rising up inside
People shift their wide eyed glances away when they see you notice
They don’t know what it means to be under the influence
You snapped as a senior in high school; dreams, ambitions, they mean nothing
All you want is more, more, more
Kids whimper when you shout dirty things that poison their ears
But all you do is drop the bottle on the ground
Watching it shatter in a kaleidoscope of brown glass
Bubbly beer covers your scuffed sneakers
You wipe a grimy hand across your mouth and grin wildly.
Barley and sin combined
Gives you the power to destroy your life.

Richa Gode
Age 14, Grade 9
Hunter College High School
Silver Key

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