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

A week ago the sign on
the metal gate said
“No admittance after dark.”
A week ago, I'd have listened.
Tonight, though, no one keeps me out.
There was no lock,
so I stole inside
like death himself.

In the semi-dark of twilight,
I can see my reflection mirrored
a hundred times in black granite.
You would laugh if you could see me,
wearing a black skirt and blazer,
my hair French braided.
You'd say I looked like a teacher,
and you'd pull my braid and smile.

A week ago, I'd slap your hand.

Tonight, I'm going to Toyland.
That's what the diggers called it.
Where all the kids are.
I can see slouched, sad little teddy bears,
and I know I'm in the right place.
I see the names, their birthdays,
and look for the right one.
A week ago, you'd have come with me.

I finally find it:
A little green plastic marker.
Too soon, I guess, for the headstone
to be finished. Maybe
forever isn't long enough to carve
a person's death into marble.
Or maybe time just passes slower to me
than it did a week ago.

A week ago we listened to the radio.

I hum the song
that played every half hour.
The one that drove you crazy …
I falter a little
in the dark.
This is where you'd make a face.
Where I'd laugh
and change the station.
That was a week ago.
Now, the only thing stopping me
from singing about
big green tractors
is the fact that I can hardly breathe.
I slide to my knees on the ground,
just trying to be closer to you.
I whisper to the night,
hoping you can hear:
“I miss you.”

A week ago, you would have held me
while I cried.

But a week ago, I wouldn't have been crying.
Because a week ago, I didn't have my
fingers in the sod,
trying to hold onto you, reach you.
I wasn't sobbing your name
to the stars that hold you away from me.
I wasn't collapsing to the ground,
hoping that someone would shoot me, too.
I wasn't humming the song you hated,
praying for an impossibility.

A week ago, I'd be dreaming in my bed,
my subconscious never dredging up
this nightmare.
I'd never have dreamed
that in seven little days,
I'd be lying over your body,
confusing sleep with death and
closing my eyes
with you gone forever; even though
you can't be more
than six feet under ground.

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






Join the Discussion

This article has 11 comments. Post your own now!

BookWriter said...
Apr. 24, 2013 at 7:01 pm
This is a GREAT piece! I could see the end coming, but it still made me tear up!
 
CarolynQ said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 10:13 am
I absolutely did just cry and it's my graduatiion day, haha you have a wonderful way of writing in which I fancy, I would love if you checkout my work sometime. Saddest piece that is most beautifully written. Well done- whoever you wrote it about would truely appreciate the love that is felt throughout it.
 
junebug18 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm
Congraduations! Hopefully that cheers you up a little...this poem happens to be a BIT of a downer...I appreciate your comment and kind words... :D Always a nice start to my afternoon. I would love to look into your pieces...reading/critiquing other writing tends to inspire me...
 
WishfulDoer said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 1:07 am
I did cry at the end. I don't think you understand how amazing this poem is. 
 
junebug18 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm
That is very, very sweet. :D Although as a writer I'm glad you cried (and I have to admit that sounds mean), I am going to figuritively pass you the box of tissues and pat your back. *figuratively passes the tissues and pats back*
 
introducingshelby said...
Jun. 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm
I nearly cried at the end. The whole time I was reading it, I wondered why it was called "Underground."
 
junebug18 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I assume you know why now...? 

Does it sound bad to say that I'm glad you almost cried? (Honestly don't mean that in a mean way...)

 
SomeCallmeBonnBonn said...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 7:13 pm
This is my favorite teen ink poem of all time
 
junebug18 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 23, 2011 at 12:29 am
That is so sweet! Thank you. :D I appreciate it. Quite gratifying. (You totally just made my long day.)
 
SomeCallmeBonnBonn replied...
Mar. 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm

no problem this poem inspires me

 

 
junebug18 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm
That is the sweetest thing I've heard. :D Thanks!
 
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