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3rd – Worry Doll by Freyja McCreery

Crystal glass terrarium,
soft, smooth, glide, prove.

Inside, a male and female pair,
dolls with whom this glass cave I share.

Performing for them every day, ironic,
encouraging breaking, reaching out.

And on my knees, head bowed, I pray,
learning whatever lesson it is today.

Punching, punching hard on glass walls.
Punching my way out for them.

Breaking free like shadow out of sun,
like sun out of clouds, rushing air out of glass.

Shockwave-force from out my heart
shatters the smooth glass cage I’m in.

That air, once trapped, now free,
out I go flying, singing ‘follow me’.

Out I go like kite in air
but no string to reel me back again.

There, they sit and stare. Achieved
what they said, not wanted.

Aim and aspiration as lines to stay inside,
as safe space not pathway to another place.

Crumble inwards little pair, separate and fall.
No longer are those walls so safe,

nor comforting to little minds, I’m sure.
Come fly, fly free, but do not follow me.

Never-ending little space fractured by the power
that you nurtured (unknowing, unwanted) in me.

This was not what you expected, for me
to rise to such heights as to finally be free,

and wanted, and strong and, well, me.
But in you go, and in you stay,

so crumple, little worry-dolls,
and no more think of me.

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Worry Doll by Freyja McCreery won 3rd Place in The Yorker’s Beginnings Competition