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Macknik-Conde, Iago, Liminal Spaces

MACKNIK-CONDE, IAGO

Iago Macknik-Conde
Age: 13, Grade: 7

School Name: Anderson School Public School 334, New York, NY
Educators: Megan Freund, Karen Kabahar, Claire Long

Category: Poetry

Liminal Spaces

Safe
 
I peer down from my sturdy perch
and see all the life scurrying down below
My brother and sister
locked in the battle of the ages,
their choicest weapons
sock grenades
 
The harmless projectiles
swerve away from my boxy nest
Not a bunkbed, but a crate
built to contain things
that must be handled with care
 
Through the slats I watch
my mother at her laptop
in the far end of the hallway,
her hands steady on the keyboard,
her eyes moving in tidy jumps                                                                                 
 
My father packing for a business trip
He wraps his battery charger
in a pair of pants
to protect it from harm
 
I escape into my bunk
and leave the noise
that thrives on the ground
 
I pull up my blanket up to my shoulders
and command my heart
to give up the race
and stroll
 
Minutes pass
 
I burrow in the shelters of my bunk,
the blue-and-white sheets that grip me so tightly
no fears can get in
The warm feel on my skin
as my comforter shields me
from the world
 
I close my eyelids
as drowsiness wears upon me
The crisp smell of my pillowcase
guides me to the brink of sleep,
but I am still just short of it
 
The drone of my window AC
and my parents’ muffled conversation
in another room
ward all other sounds away
 
And by then I am asleep
 
Free
 
After S.E. Hinton
 
Afraid of my own shadow
I knew I would not enter
The burning church
I couldn’t save the children
 
Then I looked at Ponyboy
His eyes shining clear
His stern determination 
He knew what he had to do
 
I did not
 
I knew myself
A soft person
Who startled
At the slightest noise
 
I dug deeper
Until I found something
I couldn’t hide from
 
A bright sliver of courage
A remnant of who I used to be
Before
 
I called on it
 
And joined Ponyboy
As he ran into the flames
No longer afraid
 
The shadows inside me
Overcome by light
From the blazing inferno
 
My vision unclouded
I saw what I must do
I pressed on
 
Sweat pouring down my brow
The smell of charred wood
Assaulting my nose
 
We followed the cries
And picked up the children
Their weight increasing tenfold
With every step
 
We evaded the flames
The crackling barricades
And discovered the window
 
The kids got out first
Then Ponyboy left
I got ready to escape
The crumbling building
 
And I knew deep inside
That even if I didn’t make it out
In my heart
I was already free