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The lonely girl sits swinging below the old oak's branches,
the tall, dry grass all around catching the sun's last rays.
Her stick-thin, chalk-skinned limbs settle in the well-worn wooden seat.
She silently watches.
She looks around the meadow, at the amber shimmer lining the skeletal plants,
the sunset's crimson exactly matching the burning cigarette in her hands
and lastly the occasional glow-worms mirroring the newly emerging stars.
She silently smokes.
Angrily inhaling the last smoky sliver, she dismissively launches the butt through the dusky air.
The cigarette lands soundlessly on the dusty ground amongst paper-thin, colour-drained poppies.
Sudden hitching gusts pick up the glowing embers and litter nearby leaves like shattered glass.
She silently stands.
A scarlet viper appears, snaking across the brush, spawning another upon another,
scarring red gashes across the meadow like blackening rivers.
Concern and adrenaline pulsing through her veins like lava,
the girl attempts to stamp out the plague. But this is one disease you can't kill.
She silently panics.
The beast continues to burn and encircles her, prowling round her
like a tiger on the hunt. She knows that soon it will have to pounce.
The pale girl whips her head around; all she sees on her other side is destruction.
Her black tousled curls trap white-hot sparks and they sting like wasps.
She silently thrashes.
She can't see through the distortions, the heat haze, she struggles to breathe.
Her shoe catches a burnt branch and she tumbles backward,
the scorching ground winding her as she lands. She needs oxygen;
gasping and wheezing but her body just isn't co-operating.
She silently screams.
Her eyes sting as they adjust to a new view; the sky above corroded,
its clouds rusted a burnt black; a once blue beauty now discoloured to a bloody maroon.
The poor girl accepts what's coming and attempts to cry,
but when a tear tries to escape her, it's instantly gone.
She silently mourns.
So she lies there, almost oblivious now to the warped nightmare surrounding her,
as the ashes settle on her like snow. She watches the birds take to the air
and in her semi-delirious state she contemplates the heat
licking its way up her pitch-black spread hair.
She silently dies.

by Mia Hammett (11)
Broadwater School, Godalming

Competition - The Poetry Trials

Copyright remains with the author.