Georgia Parke, a Junior at Stowe High School, completed this piece while attending the Vermont Governor’s Institute on the Arts. Inspired by the prompt “Perhaps it was the clams…” Georgia combined her irrational fear of the ocean with ideas of conformity and, conversely, standing out in the crowd.
Perhaps it was the clams
who stole the
from the longer green oyster
who couldn’t hold a note underwater
if its place in the sand depended on it.
Perhaps it was the solemn starfish
who choked on
when the old man threw it headfirst
back into the reef.
Perhaps it was the foreign snorkeler who,
started to drown when
she lost sight of the sky
and was saved
by the underwater mountain that drew
blood from her toes.
Perhaps it was those bittersweet
that taught children to
fear the depths of the sea.
Fear the tide!
Fear the figures pushing you away
from the walls and into the
middle of the carpet the
middle of the room the
middle of the ocean where
you can swim on your own with
to assist you but the muscles in your legs
you grew from running back and forth
away from the rising tides.
Kaomi Taylor Mitchell
Karen is Executive Director at the Governor's Institutes of Vermont.