To Silence the Silence

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2018 Barrett Winner

4th Place Ismail Abu Hayyeh

Flowers, we all are
Some of us grow taller than others
And it isn’t fair, but nothing can be done
Because life is a test that pushes us beyond
But some of us fail because others succeed
Because some people cheat their way around
And slither into the ranks of greatness as they drag everyone down to failure
No matter how hard we try, sometimes it’s not enough
Even though we’ve exhausted ourselves to the brink
And rest is not an option because there’s so much work for us to do
So much for us to accomplish
So much for us to rise against
Because we’re being cheated from our destinies and we have to watch as they take them from us
And we cannot do anything because we’re simply not strong enough to overcome
So who do we blame when someone fails because it wasn’t of their own accord?
Because the world overwhelms one person?
Because sometimes our hearts fail us and we’re perpetually failing
Because there are others who are better than we could ever hope to be

I hate it
I hate it because we live in a world where the weak are just that
And we want answers to questions we can never ask
To discover that which doesn’t exist
We want the fiction to seek the real
But no one understands what it is we want to know
And the truth we search for is lost in silence
And we’re all selfish
It’s wrong of us to thoughtlessly say that we understand
But we do it anyways
Because it’s the only response we have
To some things that we cannot repeat
It’s our weakest response
And it’s our only one
Because it exists only to satisfy the illusion
That we are obligated to silence the silence

We never thought we weren’t enough
We never believed in giving up
So full of potential and life and happiness and that’s exactly what they take away
Because flowers are fragile, and some people find pleasure in stomping on potential queens, young goddesses, and prospective empresses alike
And we find them lying on the ground
Broken
Bloodied
Bruised
And somehow
Some way
They find the strength to grow again
And risk being stepped on by the monsters we made
Because every vice is a product of who we are
And that’s something no one can ever take
They can kick you, beat you, try to silence you
They can gag you, bury you, even destroy you
But from the moment we enter crying
To the moment we leave dying
The world never forgets that we were here
If even for a fleeting moment
Because time has taught the Earth
That the most beautiful roses
Grow between the cracks of the concrete