FIRST PLACE: Thirteen

Jun 28, 2021 By Julianna Williams, 13
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Image credit Pixabay/CC

THIRTEEN

By Julianna Williams

When I turned eleven
I was older but the world was the same
As far as I knew it my own life wouldn’t change

I could still gather with friends
And not be aware
I could live in a crowd
And not even care
I could travel to places
Breathe unmasked air

I didn’t fret for my loved ones
Didn’t worry what would come of this world
And how it would affect me
I could make my dreams come true no matter what
As an eleven year old in this world

I was excited for twelve
To mature and grow old
But my twelfth birthday was confined to my home
My plans as a twelve year old
With hopes were all dashed
My first year of middle school
Was less than a half

Just my brothers and parents
Isolated and alone
A stir-crazy family
In a pressing-in home
Connected through text
Apart and away
Missing and aching
With each lonely holiday

I no longer rode the bus
Didn’t see my friends in free time
I didn’t see my teachers
Because school was online

And the death toll rose
With sickness not the only cause
The riots of injustice
The violence and laws

I was excited for twelve.
I had hoped.
But it started to seem
Being twelve in this world
Was not what I once dreamed

The year rolled around
The Earth circled the sun
Votes opened up
An intense election was won

And in this world
I changed from child to teen
In this way
I turned thirteen

The whole world is so different
From the world where I turned eleven
But I too am different.
I have grown and changed.
We all have.

Gorman’s words at the inauguration
Bring me great inspiration

I’m starting to see my friends
But I can’t remove my mask
From six feet away
Can closeness last?

I have returned to a version of school
To learn new regulations and rules

As vaccinations emerge
My mom is immune
And as for the rest
I’ll be seeing them soon.

I am becoming
The person I will be.
But what kind of world am I coming of age in?
Can my eleven year old hopes come true?

What can I do?
And what does this mean?
Will Gramma and Papa finally get the vaccine?

How will we make this world an improvement
From the place where I turned eleven?
Will I be stuck alone
like when I turned twelve?
Can we make my thirteenth birthday
In a better place
Than my twelfth?
Will I come of age in a lonely world
With violence
Injustice
Sickness?
Or will I be a thirteen year old
in a world where I can make my dreams come true?

Comments

Scarlet10's picture
Scarlet10 July 29, 2021 - 9:18am
Mind blowing
SophiaJ's picture
SophiaJ July 8, 2021 - 5:52pm
WOW!
Marie's picture
Marie June 30, 2021 - 3:38pm
Thank you so much 🙂🌻
HighLordBigDog13's picture
HighLordBigDog13 June 29, 2021 - 8:16am
WOW! This is amazing, Julianna! I'm the same age, so this resonated with me too. Great writing, and I loved the rhyming! 5/5 stars! ≈Bree