the gravel harsh beneath my feet
although they weary i continue while
the land here is naught but vile.
i've waited since my death, trudging down
dark corridors in the land of the crown.
sleeping fitfully, as the cold snakes in
in a land cold, dank and tired with sin.
in this hour, the Slips wander with me
exploring the streetlights in the land of Scree,
fooling themselves into thinking they know
that the future is more than a distant glow.
and when the evening burns within
there is no escape from the restless din.
seeking passageways to leave,
through cramped and foggy rooms we weave.
alas, the escape, futile and dark
was foiled by the cry of the meadowlark.
as morning struck, we cowered within
the forgotten room where we've always been.
my punishment, after we were caught
was purely cruel; i was left to rot
in a grimy cellar with fleas and rats
my only companions, them and the bats.
a single piece of parchment left for me,
nothing survived but misery.
so i was instructed, this to write
from dawn 'til dusk, from day 'til night.
forced to remember the sorrow and the cold,
record the tales of loss from the old.
the times have changed, they whisper here
in this land where i have only fear.
This piece won a Silver Key in the 2013 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.