we fall, sheltering our brimming bones in our hands

with the tips of our antiseptic, reddened fingers,

again and again and again,

our bodies, our ever-travelling, changing homes,

readying themselves for another wicked winter wave

as the maples shed their fire in spoonfuls over our heads,

kids grabbing at them giddily, in handfuls.

uncertainty tickles chills on prickled skin as the cold creeps in,

darkness stagnant in minds that lull 

on repeat, radio static in flickering, monochrome backgrounds.

the channels change, the story repeating itself

in hypnotic, robotic loops.

are you human?

check these boxes to prove it.

once whispered, joy-filled bedtime stories

echo emptily in desolate, overcrowded spaces,

bad news hushing us to sleep

night after night after night.

cold sneaks in through the windows,

the heat’s not working; call the landlord.

we’re sorry, but the person you are trying to reach is not available at this time.

once peaceful, blissful mornings

hide behind buzzing anxieties that can’t be flicked away with swatters like fruit flies,

voices overlapping, nurturing, nagging, numbing, humming,

how are you doing? have you heard? what’s next? 

what’re you doing? what’ll you do next? have you found the one yet?

where have you been? has it been that long? 

oh, now, where’s your smile? 

we’re still searching for it 


for now, we’ll wait for the chaos to settle

before looking up and around.

letting the breath settle in our lungs

before going forth on our feet, fatigued,

unstable but still standing, 


About the author

Laura is a Copy Editor for Youth Mind. When she’s not reading, writing, proofreading or editing, she’s binge-watching series and films, adding new goals to her bucket list and daydreaming or listening to an eclectic playlist or podcast. She can also often be found dancing, unsubscribing to emails she accidentally subscribed to, discovering new green spaces or snuggling with her dog.

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