‘Persephone’s Lament’ by Evie Armstrong, Year 10, Altrincham Grammar School for Girls

I don’t feel it now

Hair wet and cold and dripping

Floor shining with unforgotten dreams

An inch outside myself


These bricks that once contained me, just

A blackened well of failure

Because I still hear you in the lichen;

I can hear you in the seaweed;

I can hear you in the sunlight:


It passes above me, cold and sharp and familiar

It takes the sky. I become smaller. Compressed in, and I can’t

I can’t I can’t get out of here. Everything

is mud between my scrambling feet


And now your lipstick stains into my skin

Red fire-worms seep across my vision

All sense escapes me, and

Anemones flounder in my throat


The sun is gone, and water flows above me

The world is a little blurry now, but

I can still make out your name

A thousand consonants flower on the wall, and burn into my lips