Growing Pains

It’s a familiar kind of feeling. That chest-wrenching, soul-clenching burst that buries your heart in the ground and your faith in all that is bright. It’s teenage years, of that you’re sure, but the loneliness of growing snaps at your heels Isolation is a funny thing. It crawls in the darkness and waits, until that fickle beast of socialisation cowers to the enormity of the evening. Sunshine sours and the fulfilment of friends fades to forlorn pondering of The what-could-have-been. It’s a precarious balance of future and present. A laminar flow, both stagnant and flooding. It whispers too much and not enough A river of overwhelming That threatens to choke the potential it promises. You feverishly prepare to grow and move up, forgetting the Peter Pan wonder of youth. The disease of social acquiescence Clings to the skin and chokes away the innocence that inexperience brings. Summer days give way to autumnal evenings, As the changes lose your meaning. You only speak in tongues of shadows, The learnt language of the night. Weary beauty resides Through those blinded Tear-streaked eyes, A grip slowly beginning to slip. Are you falling away? A hand reaches out, And holds on. For it’s your dear life That is grasped between Those quavering digits of hope. You are the sunlight upon their skin, that hazy comfort, taken for granted but beloved by all. It’s the beauty of your smile, the gentle warming ray that sets afire those who come just close enough. For, when you arrive, It’s the cherry blossom in spring. A new dawn. A chance to begin again As though the blooms had never shed at all. We see our future, Laid ahead of us as a winding road. Weaved through with the sapphire of sorrow And the gleeful diamond of hope. The summit, ready to be celebrated And the cipher, Where we hold together as one, For you’re never alone, As a meandering stream, dreaming of belonging, inevitably meets the sea. And suddenly you find that spark within, the flame that crackles “Hope”

by Eloise, Age 17, Year 12, from Abergavenny

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