Honorable Mention – 2022 Beverly Hopkins Contest for High School Students

To Pin A Bouncy-Ball Down

Nerinx Hall High School

Day in and day out, I have been toying around
With the idea that we live in a world that hovers
In the universe. It just dangles, just swings, while
We do nothing but grip on, dreading the day we fall.
I am but one plastic pin on the map. Am I hanging
By my hair on the wall of a nomad or am I me?

I pass the plate of bread to my mother, while my head
Fills with thoughts. This meal, made with love from
Tender hands, for me? The thoughts float back and forth
And I cannot see through the fog. Is this fog so thick,
So dense that I cannot see the soulmate I pass by?
Another one lost to time, loathing clueless little me.

These worries leap around my mind, like a child’s
Blue bouncy ball while his parents fight next door.
The boy looks at the ball. Does the ball look back?
Is the boy, the ball; and the ball, the boy? No, no.
I wander with the boy at my side. People see us with
Their own two eyes. What do they think of our duo?

It feels so abstract and it feels so concrete.
This has never been and it always will be.
A mother holds her newborn, the picture of health,
While I, 17, get blood drawn and beg for a diagnosis.
A courthouse wedding celebrates passionate impulsivity,
While a woman signs divorce papers with the notary.

The world chews me up and spits me out. Where do my ideas go?