By: Leia Hannum


My identity be dragged through mud
But I swear to you I’m clean
The idealistic prospect of pure intention
Isn’t always as it seems

All for the good of the world
All for tomorrow’s better day
And I mean well, but only you I’ll tell
For the rest I’ll dearly pay

I do it in the name of my country
And I do it in the name of pride
Is a lie truly a lie if the act is justified

My body be dragged through mud
But I swore that I was clean
I thought I’d try, for cause I’d die
But it was nothing as it seemed


The Tree

When I was once very young
My eyes blind, but I could see
I remember playing skip
By a single old oak tree

Tall, withering, and ancient
But not truly ancient
For time is only an agent
To those who age and cannot change it

This I told to the tree
Who’d seen tenfold years more than I
Pacing, praying, watching, waiting
He wanted no more than to die

“I once wanted to be free,” said the tree
To forests with freshwater tears
Not the gray, deserted, empty street
It had lived for all those years

Time had washed away his wish
This was the thought he had conceived
I said we are only as old
As old has told us to believe

The sky faded lilac as the tulips closed
“I’ll return tomorrow,” I say
But my promise, it proved, to somehow slip through
I would forget the very next day

Days, weeks, months into years
Each hour devoted to me
Only the night before I left the town for good
Did I remember that old tree

I drove to the place, to the gray, empty road
The air thin, quiet, and dead
I kneeled by the stump where the tree had once stood
And these were the words I said

“When I was once very young
I was blind but now I see
I remember playing skip
By the single old oak tree

Tall withering and ancient
But now truly ancient
For I have wronged, the tree is gone
And nothing I can do will change it”



Lies Smell like Candy and Newspapers

Let us be born, but never born free
For freedom’s the branch that arose from the seed
Which grows a heart and a soul
But ideas turn cold
When deemed dangerous, outrageous, just do as you’re told

Clocks upon clocks host their prisoners of time
Those who’d sell their souls for just a little more time
Or their bodies for a dime, but no, that’s a crime
Address only the issues that we’re willing to climb

We are told what to think and taught how to feel
But never taught to differentiate what’s fake and what’s real
Our history is a story and our story is the now
But God forbid a single person question who, why, or how

Let us die old, safe in the slavery of our chains
Numbed by pills upon pills to drive away our pains
“What more” they would ask
Upon tipping the flask
Filled with misery mixed with whiskey to harden the final mask


The Last Summer

The last Summer I would see was brilliant,
An ever-growing symphony of nature
Perfectly orchestrated by the tidings of blissful nothingness

The last Summer I would see was a violet gold,
Colors too bold to describe as the sun rose in silent motion
Driven by something so very unseen

The last Summer I would see was warm,
And unmoved by the winds that surrounded
For she shone so brightly that the snow sparkled
As it melted from the fingertips

The last Summer I would see was beautiful but timed,
The tick-tock of a clock that no one could hear
The sky was too lovely to recognize such a sound

The last Summer I would see was truly the last,
For the cold rose higher than she could climb for air
The relentless pursuit finished before it began

The last Summer I would see was ephemeral
By the mast of a boat, she set sail when she left
Her rays of sun just barely melting the snow 



Leia Hannum is a 15 year old attending The Woodlands College Park High School.