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Young Writers Take a Look at Things From an Unusual Perspective

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with audiences through the Newspaper Series (and youngwritersproject.org) and the Schools Project (ywpschools.net). YWP is supported by this newspaper and foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to donate to YWP, go to youngwritersproject.org/support.

This Week’s Prompt: Perspective: Tell a story from the perspective or viewpoint of something unconventional: a dog, flower, mountain, etc.

Next Prompt: Red: End a short story or poem with this line: And yet all I see is red. Alternate: Limerick. Write a limerick: a poem of five lines, the first, second and fifth lines rhyming, and the third and fourth lines rhyming. Humor is encouraged. Due Feb. 14.

His fingers move up and down, shaping me, dancing upon my flesh. I rest where he’s propped me up, staring into his dark eyes squinted in concentration. Soon I will be done. Soon the deadline will come. Soon I will be on display, saving his name in the memories of thousands as an artist, a genius – a sculptor.

  The tips of his fingers are chalky and dry, covered in the clay used to make me. I suppose I should feel embarrassed, if only a little, to watch him create me and ruin himself, but I love it. I love how he’ll work through the nights when the deadline closes in, love how he’ll work his long thin fingers until the skin is cracked in ways mine cannot, and he moans of old age in the early mornings. To me, it is a show of his love, his dedication, to me and his career. And at the moment, his career is solely me.

He’s finished smoothing out my arm, and now he’s leaning back to check the position, the size, to wonder how noticeable the imprints of his fingers are. Too much? Or just enough to show the rough texture of skin? After a moment, he nods and sidles up to me, gliding those hands up my shoulders, around my neck, down my back. If I had a heart, it would be beating. Hard and fast. Beating so warm it would burn him just by touching it. I can almost feel this. Almost ... but not quite.

My artist mumbles when he’s stressed. I don’t know if it’s practice for bad social skills, or common reassurances, but today I hear something significant. “She’s due tomorrow.”

In the blink of an eye, I find myself in a place dark and small. Where? And when? Now, I find fear pressed into my clay body. How can I ever see my sculptor again? Has he abandoned me? Oh, woe. Woe!

The darkness, which I never liked, is suddenly lifted up, and I’m surrounded by people. Some gasp as they see me, others lift an object to their face, which creates a bright flash with a twitch of their finger. I find I’m scared of these people, which is silly, since I was made to please them. But now, all I desire is the cool of the basement and the heat of his fingers. No fame, none for me!

And as it sinks into me that my say will never be accounted for, I see my love, bowing, a smile made with the finest materials sculpted on his face. I made that, I think with a glow of pleasure. He may have made me, but I made that expression. (And if you ask me, my creation is far superior.)

I wait. I watch.

I know you don’t.

I’ve seen you’re blind.

I wait. You move.

I sit. You stand.

I know what’s coming.

You think in the present.

I see down. You look up.

I’ve seen the bottom.

You’ve been to the top.

I’ve been here all along.

You’ve only come and gone.

I know what’s coming.

You still don’t notice.

I’ve seen the end that you have not.

It comes at once with fire and smoke.

It falls from heaven. You still cannot see.

I watch you run.

I stand alone.

 

From this mountaintop,

I can glimpse a thousand people’s lives.

Atop this mountain,

I look down and find a thousand flora, fauna.

On this mountaintop,

a luminous, sunny day is here.

But upon this mountaintop,

I know that a thousand blurry outlines

of interesting people can’t tell me half as much

as one vivid image of an average Joe.

The trees whisper their thoughts

like the mountains sigh in silence.

The animals may hear the little things,

but the humans are so lost in material things

to hear the whispering trees, to listen to the speaking.

They shout out of loneliness and dejection

they want to help the world

they let us live only to have the world be cruel and mean.

Yet they stand tall, brave and unselfish;

they let the world rip them from the ground,

cut them in halves and thirds.

They howl in sadness,

taking away their hope and friends.

You may play favorites,

let some live longer than others,

break their arms, torture them, burn them

and so much more.

They still stand tall, taller than you will ever be.

So, next time take a good deep breath and listen to the mourning trees

and the silent mountain. Listen.

I have no choice in what happens to me.

All I can do is observe.

To bed I am taken by the faithful,

and to others, I stay, in a closet, in a room, or outside.

The faithful take care of me, while the half-hearted

cannot fully embrace me.

I watch as legends are made and dreams come true;

nonetheless, I stay with my joyful master.

Whether he is rich and famous, or the smallest child,

I am there for that person,

an escape, a relief, a way to release the stress of the day.

I keep myself in the best shape I can be,

whether I am abused or embraced, I cannot decide,

but the best of me goes to the best that treat

pushing all others aside.