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Hansel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Hansel couldn’t sleep
His sheets just threads upon the floor
He stood up in his bed
and made his way to the kitchen
threw a match inside the oven door

and sat there in his chair
watching the bubbles and the charcoal glow
Until his pot and kettle began to crow
About who meant the world and more over to him

But Hansel just sat still
and reached instead for his tonic and gin
And let the pot and kettle lie
Alone in the silence of their empty words
Before locking the door behind him
never to hear from them again

He then wandered around Amsterdam
Down empty streets and peaceful market shops
swaying wherever his tired legs fell

His only friend his shadow
and the groans of weary cobblestone
Canal boats huddled on the banks for warmth
and the royal tulips
withering alone in the April frost

Hansel then heard voices coming from a window
In a townhouse speckled
in green and purple brick
Maybe someone telling him good-night

But to his surprise it was only the wind
rustling the leaves of potted plants
Just as the time before
and the time before that

Hansel then fell against the railing
of a bridge older than empires
broke down into tears
and cursed the city and its liars

He caught his eye in the stream below
Watched the water flow over his tired eyes
Then melted into the canal
sailed through the rivers and aqueducts

and to the port of Rotterdam
hitched a ride on an oil tanker
dipped in and out of the foamy waves
until he found the embrace
of the North Sea floor

Where bowls don’t bicker
And winds don’t lie
Flowers don’t wither
and stones don’t cry

Here in the labyrinth of coral caves
Submerged in cool green waters
not a soul for miles
Save the lonesome, soot-colored stones

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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