January 4, 2013
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I shake myself awake, hoping to hear Mama’s soft, gentle voice telling me to wash the dishes. I listen more carefully, desperately wishing to hear my sister’s frustrated cries for attention, and my dog’s barks, trying to be heard over Sarah’s cries. I strain my ears trying to hear Pa’s newspaper crinkling as he turns a page, like the autumn leaves outside.
How I wish all my hopes were true, and that I had never made that terrible mistake. Now that I was awake, I found my desires frustrating. It was best not to think about being back home, even more so think about my family. All my hopes had been long-gone, just dust floating in the slight breeze, but suddenly, after all this time, they have decided to return. At first I wasn’t sure why, but then the thought slowly came to me. It has been a year since I’ve been here.
At first I was a beggar and pleaded for my freedom, and then turned to rebellion and cursed at the guards through my tears. It was all too dreadful, too mad and impossible for a child to believe. All of it, from the guards’ rough hands grabbing and taking me away from my family, to the first tears flowing down my dark cheeks.
My mouth always had a bitter flavor in it, and my sandpaper tongue didn’t have enough room to move. I wished for it all to be over. I dreamed of the day when I would see happiness and hear laughter. I had recurring dreams of Mama. How she always smelled like cinnamon, and how her smile stretched across her face, her hazel eyes shining bright. I caught myself thinking about Pa’s hands, so rough and dry, and how he always smelled of the cigars he loved to smoke on those tired Sunday afternoons. I wanted to carry Sarah again, wanted to feel her wiggle in my arms.
All these thoughts kept me quiet, but the pain oozed out of me and the guards smelled it from a mile away.
“Wonder why he ain’t talkin’.” One guard quietly murmured out the corner of his mouth.
“Bet he ain’t gonna bad-mouth the president no more.” The other guard smirked.
Hope quickly filled my heart, like helium filling a balloon, ready to take off. But their icy laughs robbed me from my daydream and left me with a deep, incurable scar.
Ever since that day the scar is still wide open. Every once in a while it burns, a constant reminder of who I am and who I will never be.

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This article has 15 comments. Post your own now!

CelebrateDifferences said...
Mar. 20, 2014 at 7:02 pm
Powerful imagery!
so_joy replied...
Aug. 3, 2014 at 11:40 am
Thank you!
OliviaTeenInk said...
Oct. 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm
Really interesting! Its very unique m other poems. Keep writing!! (:
so_joy replied...
Feb. 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm
Thank you.
dragonfly95 said...
Jun. 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm
Wow, very nicely done. I really enjoyed it :)
so_joy replied...
Jun. 24, 2013 at 11:42 am
Thank you!
JRaye This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 13, 2013 at 8:03 pm
Beautifully written :) I'm not usually into Historical Fiction, but this is just so good! :) Really great job!
so_joy replied...
Jun. 24, 2013 at 11:41 am
Thank you so much!
Michaela M. said...
Mar. 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm
amazing... simply amazing the story had me on the edge of my see i felt chills as i continued to read.  
so_joy replied...
Apr. 9, 2013 at 9:41 am
Thank you so much!
LinkinPark12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm
I really like this :) I love the description :D But what happened to this person? Were they accused wrongly and put in jail? I'm not quite sure. But it makes you think. I love it all :)
so_joy replied...
Jan. 18, 2013 at 9:20 am
Thank you! It's about freedom of speech... He expressed his opinion and was punished for it
Sarah1517 said...
Jan. 14, 2013 at 10:33 pm
This is great! It's funny, I actually wrote something very similar to this :) makes me want to find out what happens next...
so_joy replied...
Jan. 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Really? What's it called? I would love to read it :)
Sarah1517 replied...
Jan. 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm
"To Be A Slave." It's "pending approval from our editors" right now so it could be a couple days :)
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