‘Promises and Lies’ by Sadeen Ahmad, age 15

the world is boundlessly cruel
so don’t believe your mother’s lies that
the world is sincerely beautiful
because when the sun dies down
it turns dismal and bleary
so don’t pay heed to your father’s promises that
the sun is ethereal and the anchor to heaven itself
when the moon is alit
there is a sinister feel
and nothing your parents say will make you believe that
the world is a cradle that’ll gently rock you
despite it all
the conflict of the corrupt
will continue in sync with
the peace of the people
it is the way it functions
the world is a body of life and death

(now read from bottom to top)