“Hidden Light” by Emma Wilkins

Emma Wilkins (age 15)


He sits in the back of class,
Hard to miss
For all the wrong reasons.
Our world cannot relate
To his mindless talk of
Death and murder,
And the cynical humor
That suffocates every word he utters.

Dreary clouds hang aloft his head,
Threatening the rage of a storm.
Any sudden movement
Instigating the first of many dominoes
To collapse to the floor,
Amongst his other sorrows.
There is light hidden within
His painted skin.
It beams when he talks
About his passions.

Passion of books,
And his love for the girl
Whom he sits behind in class,
And even his love of poetry.
A light that is hidden thoroughly
Behind blood red curtains,
Stained by his childhood
And wrinkled by the hands of death.
And when I see this
I quietly sympathize—
His hidden light.

from 2016 Rattle Young Poets Anthology


Why do you like to write poetry?

Emma Wilkins: “I fell in love with writing after taking an advanced English class my sophomore year of high school. I know that what I have written will be interpreted in more than one way and I love that. To me, I feel as though how my writing is interpreted is more important than what I write. When I write poetry, I always focus on writing something that is raw and personal but that can also be interpreted differently in alignment of others situations.”

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