This Place Called Home

By Alice Heyeh, age 15
This Place Called Home Alice is a sophomore at Horace Greeley High School who enjoys listening to music, drawing, and writing poems. She has won second place in poetry for the Chappaqua Young Writer's Contest, and her poems have been published in her Chinese School's newsletter. When she isn't writing, you can find Alice playing the violin, eating strawberries, or laughing at her own jokes.

“Here–the crime rates are as low
as the stress is high
with the nerve picking pressure
of decisions to be made.”

  

I come from a place where quarters are

tailored as lustrous silver buttons

strung together with the residue riches

of small town life.

The houses are planted like

impeccable lego ziggurats

with their roots clutching on

for generations too long;

and the children here beam with

straight white pearls

that reflect off the silver linings of

embellished rusty clouds.

 

Here–the crime rates are as low

as the stress is high

with the nerve picking pressure

of decisions to be made.

Gaping mouths and parched throats,

gasping for four magic words:

fame, money, success, power,

fame, money, success, power.

There is a constant velvet pretense

masking closed plastic doors

and an incessant gloom smothered

with upper class glamour.

 

Just last week, I saw a girl with depletion

carved on her forearms.

Her eyes

are still sketched in my mind.

And yes,

clean classrooms have taught me

exhaustion in three different languages,

but I’m still more drained than

these tongues will know.

I come from a town known for its

lustrous silver buttons,

but here,

smiles are bought with pennies.

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