On Entering My Teens During the Pandemic

I ventured, walking my cat
A sad smile painted on my face.
Why, I ask myself.
Maybe it’s how the cold, cruel wind
reminds me of harsh reality.
Maybe it’s how the beautiful moon
reminds me how far love can be.
Maybe it’s the brittle leaves
that remind me of my crippling health.
Maybe it’s how birds fly with all their bravery
that reminds me of my lungs are crying–
reminding me, that I’m finding it hard to breathe.
Maybe it’s how the clouds change their shape
reminding me
of my trust; trust that’s been put in the wrong place.
Maybe it’s how the ethereal sky
reminds me of how I’m drowning in a vast sea of expectations.
Everyone is coming – not to save me,
but to give their evaluations.
Maybe it’s the way the stars look at me,
reminding me of who I used to be.
Maybe it’s the way the broken building laughs at me,
reminding me that nothing lasts forever.
Maybe it’s the way the grass reminds me
of empty promises,
empty homes,
my empty heart for which I pray.
Maybe it’s my red fingers
that remind me of all the scars I’ve got.
Maybe it’s my
broken heart
rotting mind calling out for help.

Irene Khanum Sherwani is a 14-year-old who’s trying to find her place in the large scheme of things.

Featured image: Gabriel Matula/Unsplash