By Amalya Teitelbaum, Anonymous Stern Student, HaKohein, & Sophia Baradarian
Each month, the YU Observer sends a call to YU students for poetry submissions following a specific theme. This month, the theme was ‘Faith’, and we are featuring Yair Shavrick’s piece, ‘Bridges’. However, the poems below are other submissions of honorable mention.
I Am 8 Years Old
By Amalya Teitelbaum
I am 8 years old
Normality is bliss
Blonde pigtails, pink dresses, friendship necklaces
Bubbles drifting lazily through the sky
From the whispers of our lips
Born to live which we truly were
I am 13 years old
First entering the building, tiptoeing on the high school floors
Light-headed on my feet
Blurry vision flicking from my lashes
And yet still born to live
I am 16 years old
Something is wrong
Vertigo, shaking, collapsing on floors
Mothers concerning eyes, fathers raised brows
Was I born wrong?
18 years old
From the walls to the bed, to the blaze blocking my sight
Trading blonde pigtails for a smooth crown
Pink dresses for hospital gowns
I have a clear necklace, one that goes through my neck
Born to survive which I truly wasn’t
I am 20 years old
Motionless, lying in my bed
Feeling nothing hearing nothing
My sight remains
A beautiful blessing yet a horrific curse
For I see my little sisters tears but I can do nothing but scream in my head
Born to die.
21 years old
I met my best friend today
A little girl adorned with a white paper gown and blonde pigtails
How long they will remain is unrevealed
Sitting close, arm to arm eye to eye
Telling her how she will not just survive but live
Eye to eye, my smile birthing hers
Born to make smiles, born to give light
Born to tell my story
By Anonymous Stern Student
This word isn’t just a word.
Rather a connotation.
Connoting many a thing-
A look heavenward.
An innate recognition.
The sacrifice of one’s reason to that that is unproven.
It also connotes other things –
The continuation of racism.
The continued power of the patriarchy and the subjugation of women.
The molestation of othered groups by society.
Maybe it’s not positive after all.
By HaKohein, Staff Writer
I used to worship at your feet of gold,
clinging to their comforting, inspiring glean,
trusting that you cared for my prayer,
even though you never responded.
Your kisses were empty of accompanying words.
Your oracle refused to speak. You were comfortable.
Well now your temple goes up in flames
and your priest has decried you as a false god.
A woman dressed in pallid gold, whose feet are weak and legs wobbly
now that she is alone, at her altar, with nobody to call her beautiful.
By Sophia Baradarian, Staff Writer
You and I both
watched it unfold
perhaps lives ago.
and limned in
gleaming gold, serene.
by muted notes of mirth,
where moistened earth
bore olives to
pepper twilight turf.
Tables laden with
hyssop, curling carob pods
crates of curcumin adjoining cumin,
barrels brimming with grapes
plucked from parturient vine.
gods, descending as wolves
on the fold,
seeking to raze,
to cut for sport.
The eyes of sleeper
and sinner alike,
waxed deadly still.
For in depthless slumber,
there is no scorching of flesh,
slice of fattened marrow,
nor crack of whitened bone.
No infant tossed to rippling flames
nor dashed against the rock.
No bloodletting sands
I stand here with you,
both of us
beholden by blows
With lashes bathed in brine,
the waning wails of gilded stones
our mothers of old
Stones that glisten somberly,
astride a blackened hill.
Do you want to see your writing published? The theme for November’s poetry submissions is ‘Transition.’ Send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 15.