Two Poems by Erica Warren

Poem: Persona/Narrative
THE RACE

I’m sprinting.
Time passes—
I don’t know
because I’m sprinting.
I am winning.

Breath even,
steady pace.
I can keep
this up for days.
Sweat drips
down tensed legs.

Crinkled brows
and swinging arms.
I’m not tired. Don’t
stop me now.

But someone reaches out—
grabs me. “You ARE
tired.” They sit
me down on green
benches that smell of
syrup and dog treats.

Just then the whistle blows.
Back to the race!
Oh no! My pace
is broken. I cannot
make my legs move.

Now I’m limping, dragging.
Time does not pass—
I know
because the race is over.
White finish lines
are overshadowed
by dark, heavy eyelids.
I have lost.

Poem: Sestina
THE BATTLE

The clouds rain lightly on Bonnie.
Bonnie, angry, stops the rain.
But I am angry this time
because I like the rain that lightly
pecks Bonnie’s angry
cheeks before the rain stops.

The night before the rain, stops
are made to reach Bonnie
and I find that she is angry
with me. Now the rain
pours down, not as lightly
as the hazy drizzle of last time.

I arrive to find that time
has stopped with all the stops
that Bonnie has made. Lightly
I take the device from Bonnie—
the thing that controls the rain.
Once again she is angry.

But now it is my turn to be angry
at Bonnie. Because this time
she has found a way to stop the rain
from falling, and the stops
she made I cannot undo. Bonnie!
I only wish it to rain lightly.

She takes the gadget back—not lightly—
and smashes its gears. Angry
tears gush from my eyes. Bonnie
has won for the thirty-fifth time.
But who can live when stops
are placed on time and rain?

But Bonnie cannot stop the rain
forever. I pick up the pieces and lightly
mend the broken watch, and all the stops
are removed. Bonnie is angry
and we stop being friends. Time
unstops. I have won, Bonnie!

There stands Bonnie in the rain
as the time passes slowly, lightly.
I walk away, not angry, and nothing stops.

Erica Warren is currently pursuing a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Contact: WarrenE@jbu.edu

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