Then it Came -By Siobhan O’Shea

The air smelled like salty oceans,
And like new books and redwood trees.
It was full of gold dust,
That swept her up into the cotton candy clouds.

Magic was real, and in this place
She could run faster than
Any one else ever had.
Everything radiated light.

There were slanting gates
Rising high on the very far edges
Keeping the desecraters out
Only she had the key.

Even if the outside
Was being crushed by sand
Or crashing and trembling
This place was safe and beautiful.

She could sit with her eyes wide
Open, and her ears being
Bombarded by
Frightening syllables

It did not matter because her eyes
Did not see, her ears did not hear
Her soul was far away
Frolicking and dancing among sunny raindrops

But then the rain started to chill
And stopped falling in glorious curtains
Instead they hung in the air
Becoming the thickest mist.

She huffed and puffed and tried
To breathe out the crisp wind
That she missed so much, the wind
That made the gold dust swirl.

She was so busy exhaling in her
Desperation that she did not see
It coming. The fog
Hid It from her sight.

But Its howling crept into her ears
The shrieks and whispers churned
And smashed and shattered every window
And made her mind bleed

She was up very high and falling fast
The air whipping past her
Stung her face with it’s
Ice-cold red-hot needles

She was freezing and she was burning
She was suffocating under boulders
And dizzy from spinning
Too fast.

Her favorite colors were garish
And they burned her.
She could not look at
Familiar things.

Mirrors and strobe lights
Discordant, crashing chords, chilling laughter
And darting shadows that whisked past her,
Distorted everything.

She tried to gather the least tainted
Of the puzzle pieces into
Her arms, but they dropped
As she ran and fell.

She saved only one puzzle piece
Of her beautiful shiny place
Just enough to look through
Like a telescope

Every now and then, brilliant sparks
Of gold dust fall, out of the
Tiny little almost-square,
Onto her bedside table.

She starts with longing, and seizes
The piece up, holding it to her eye,
She peers through it and sees

The fog is still suffocating
The fresh scent of her air
And the awful sight recalls echoes
Of the terrible It lurking still.

Sometimes the moisture and
The terrible sounds leak out and
Clutch her, and then release her,
Laughing at their clever game.

She is afraid of the next time that
They will want to play. She hides
Behind a rock, shivering,
And crying for her lost world.

Published by

Tilden Preparatory School

Tilden Preparatory School is a college preparatory school for grades 6-12. We have campuses in Albany and Walnut Creek, California.

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