Bianca Rickord, 12th Grade, South Brunswick High School

It was I who, under threat of succumbence towards the void, slayed the beast who is identical
to myself. A beastly figure, she was, whose attempts to cling to the backside of my heart were thus proven

I have taught myself the unfavorable act of selective apathy, an art, truly, as I’ve painted
countless barricades betwix myself and those who’ve desecrated my very soul.
Something of a wise man, I consider myself, and more so ignorant on other accounts.
Perhaps, with the permission of those greater than mine, I shall aspire to be both.
By any account, I am but a young, lost woman who was never meant to live, but when I first
opened those bright, steely eyes, not yet graced with life, and was met face to face with the grisly
creature who stood tall above my head, I defeated the poor reaper.

Though, 14 years past and that same ungodly creature sought me out once more and I, in a blind
feat of passion for it and hatred for myself, took his hand- but for only a moment before I again

I have fought with the vigor of generations of women before me coursing through my body.
With the audacity created in result of an absent, sleeve-puller of a man.

With the courage resulting from another man whose heart he tugged vast enough for a child not
of his own.

And with a hand-molded strength which allows me to open this tender heart of mine towards the
injured and ill, the injurious and sickening.

But now and again I ponder my worthiness of such a cause.
And I remember then that I am worthy of whatever my soul may desire.