“Youth” by Patrick Fox

Winner of the William and Ivy Saylor Prize 2014

Terrible youth:

we trembled, but

discovered truth;

beaten, broken, bruised,

we never made it without

scars but we learned

to wear them like jewels.

Each and every one of us

played a part, not just in


(Because pretending was

holding your insides)

We never lost our fascination

with breathing

and getting old never looked

like falling apart, but

coming back together;

every moment a fresh start

in the land of never

give up

lose hope

or surrender.

Back then

we were dissevered,

ties cut long

before we could


Beaten, broken, abused youth;

never had a chance to be a child,

how to color, when to smile.

(We survived for a while)

Bed time stories were

grumbling stomachs and

night lights, late stars

(They hit you, mine left

never got far but we did

our best)

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