“Like Magic” by Maria Gil Harris

Maria Gil Harris (age 13)


The sand aflame,
I walked towards the sleeping ocean.

I held my breath, despite the snorkel resting on my dried lips,
As I swam to the endless horizon.

Thousands of fish scurrying away from me,
My heavy strokes shattering the surface of the water.

At last, I lay still,
In hopes of catching a glimpse of their sky blue scales.

Just as fast as they had swum away, they returned,
Bubbles rising from their fins, rushing to pop at the surface.

They began sifting through my fingers,
Disappearing at every curve.

Like ballerinas in blue,
They danced around, leaving a trail of light behind them.

Many times I have tried to recreate that moment,
But I have discovered that magic does not repeat itself.

from 2021 Rattle Young Poets Anthology


Why do you like to write poetry?

Maria Gil Harris: “I write poetry to gain a deeper understanding of myself and the thought that comes with it. Through poetry I can explore the many thoughts and ideas like I never could before. Over the past year I have discovered how poetry can be a wonderful outlet to put my thoughts out onto paper. Everything about a poem is carefully thought-out to bring an idea, a story, or a character to life. The literal and metaphorical meanings, the shape of the words in your mouth, the rhythm, even the build of the poem itself. I practice many forms of art, that being music, painting, writing, etc., yet I have never found a better form of expression than poetry.”

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