Library of Cultural References

  • Library: Cultural References in Poetry

Learning the Hard Way

This poem was written by a 16-year-old girl in New Zealand. Hell writes: I found this in The New Zealand Listener - a weekly news/info. magazine we have here. It was in a section called "AMP 246" and the description goes: 'AGE LIMIT: This page is specifically for original articles, poems, letters, short stories, artwork and photos by people of school age only.'"

You don't know what you got till it's gone,
I never realised the truth in that song.
When you can't see the world
And you can't live your life,
It feels like you're sitting on the edge of a knife.

Hidden away, locked in a cage
All my despair comes out in rage.
I am inert, unable and lonely,
Life's suffocating here, and far from homely.

Trying to comprehend the days to come,
The many hours I'll cry and be watched by someone.
Familiar faces will come and go,
Each moment passing a little more slow.

By my eyes will remain open, searching the sky,
I'm waiting so restlessly to spread my wings and fly.
I have so much to make up for,
Yet, there's so much I've learnt,
Unsure if I'll be forgiven by those whom I've hurt.

I've been to the bottom, looked myself in the eye,
I've met who I am, and found I wasn't shy.
Nothing could have prepared me, not anyone I know,
For this rollercoaster ride - the few highs and many lows.

(Contributed by Helen Adcock)

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