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

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I sit with my friends on the gray concrete,
Backs to the chain-link fence,
And a green, grassy field
Spreads out beyond like a mini-forest.

There are jokes told,
Good humor floats in the air
Like spring pollen,
But I must be allergic.

I open my mouth
And I want to laugh,
But I barely manage a cough;
I feel I cannot breathe.

As if I inhale the fun
And it sticks in my throat;
Like I have nothing
To interpret it
And fill the hollow inside.
Something vital is missing.

Two of our number
Go to the field, merry and carefree.
Two of our number,
A girl and I, stand, looking on;
Hands against the chilly fence like prisoners.

A thought occurs to me
And I voice it to her:
“You know what I miss most
About elementary school?”

Like a seer,
She answers my question
As if it were her own:
“Recess.”

I look at her
In a new light:
Somehow, stumbling in the jungle,
I've found a kindred spirit.

Someone who's lost that vital …
Something –
A full and complete
And beautiful freedom.

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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