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Aug 2020
My eyes are spellbound,
Threading water in a swimming pool.
The farther down they stray,
To the pit of this manufactured ocean,
The more they shed waterfalls.
The turquoise water glints,
Despite seeming tranquilly lifeless.
The picture is torn as a flood edges near,
Third graders,
Everywhere.
Oh the water,
How it ripples,
As cackling third graders leap in.
I was there too,
Gaping at the spirited riptide.
A shattered nine year old,
Weeping on the bleachers,
Abandoned.
I didn’t know how to swim,
Tumble ten feet from above into the water,
Or float without drowning.
So I sat there for several hours,
Watching my friends play in gladness.
No one came back to me,
Oh my friends,
Funny how they just left me,
Deserted,
And ditched to whimper dumbly.
I wasn’t allowed to swim,
I was always being told that young women should be hidden,
Left stranded just to peer at their friends,
Swaying with the tides,
While I’m unknown,
Sobbing on the bleachers.
“Girls,
They don’t swim”.
I’d skip all the field trips to water parks,
Though I’d always craved of tripping to Cultus Lake.
My face would be an art canvas for my tears to play,
When I’d come home after field trips to the pool with my class.
I was never gifted any sympathy,
Or a hug for comfort,
Perched on the bleachers isolated.
All I died for as a child,
Was to learn to bike and swim.
Regularly degraded,
The sound of laughter from my friends,
As they picked at the empty holes in my heart.
I was your public display,
A showpiece of humiliation,
On the school playground.
You made me feel helpless,
And it crippled my self confidence.
I never wished to be an outcast,
But I’d always be watched like an alien,
When I’d say I don’t know how to bike or swim.
I’d come up with fabricated lies,
To sprint from the embarrassment.
I never stopped running,
But finally,
I think it’s time to take a breath.
Oh these swimming pools crammed with third grade children,
Dancing along to the rhythm of the tidal flow,
I’m there too,
Drenched in my own pool of teardrops.
Just sitting there on the bleachers,
Wondering,
What does it feel like,
To be ringed by water?
Farzeen Rashid
Written by
Farzeen Rashid  16/F/Surrey BC Canada
(16/F/Surrey BC Canada)   
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