They called her rose, briar rose.
But when she bloomed, they cowered.
She raised her voice, her petals to the sun,
and stained scarlet much more than her lips.
So they put her to sleep.
They called her sunshine,
and swathed her in golden curls.
But when she shone, their eyes blistered,
and when she burned, they couldn't see through the smoke.
So they locked her in a tower.
They called her beauty,
captivated by her outward projection of grace.
Her beauty was what blinded them
to the nebula of a mind inside her.
So they shunned her for her uniqueness.
They called her sugar,
skin as rich and deep as chocolate.
Got through life working twice as hard as any of them,
and succeeded through flavors of triumph and tears of salt.
So they told her she’d never make it.
They called her glass,
but she was only fragile, never breakable –
even through losing everything and walking on shards,
she bore the pain and held up her head.
So they reduced her to ashes and abuse.
They called her harmony,
with a song as thunderous as the sea,
each note crashing onto them like waves onto the shore.
And every ocean storm stopped to listen.
So they took away her voice.
The Young Writers Project provides VPR's audience another avenue to hear and read selections from Vermont's young writers. The thoughts and ideas expressed here are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Vermont Public Radio.