Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: First Contest :: Third Place Winner

The Day I Grew Up

by Kelly Ann Malone

Scarcely fourteen, a nestling, I was told she was ill.
The first exposure to sorrow

The borders of sanctuary became vague and misleading
Tongue-tied and vulnerable, I kept silent
Fear this deep was completely foreign to me

Unable to see her the day of surgery
Apparently children haven't proper manners
Told to go outside her window and she would appear

Five children gathered on chilly blades of grass
Eyes gazing upward as if we were awaiting an apparition
Then she emerged. She looked serene in her pale blue robe
She waved to us with confidence, but we all felt the looming peril

The asperity of her treatment left her ravaged
She was close to death. We suddenly obtained manners
I was led into her room with my brothers and sisters
No warning. No briefing. Only stern threats from an overworked nurse
There she lay. What did they do to her?

Her head was shaven clean, revealing the shape of her skull
A patch on her eye and a tube protruding from her nose
A shocking vision. She was conscious so I kept still

Forbidden from crying, my throat became sore as I forced back saliva
Nauseous and horrified, but somehow able to keep my composure
Instinctively I knew she waited for my reaction to her condition
So I matured, right in front of her, and assured her that she looked fine.

Second Place Winner
Blue Mountain Arts