Prize Poetry

Innocence

by a young woman, age 17

It means so much,
That it becomes almost useless.
So eager to get rid of it,
The overbearing weight on our shoulders,
A symbol of innoncence and childhood
We can't wait to part with.
Shoved down our throats,
Day by day,
It's not even a big deal.
So we stop protecting it.
Even for just a second.
Then,
It's over, there's no going back.
People think they can be "born again," but
Nothing can hide their mistakes from
God, themselves, and everyone else.
We try to reason,
Try to justify our numbness.
I brushed my teeth,
But I couldn't cleanse my soul.
I'm sorry.
I said it was worth it,
But now I'm left with these thoughts
That shouldn't have crossed my mind.
And feelings that shouldn't have been felt.
I'm still just a child.
I never wanted to face regret.
It wasn't supposed to become routine,
But now we talk like it's nothing.
Jesus preached forgiveness,
But what about my conscience?
I will never forgive the way I wasn't ashamed.
The way my skin felt against yours.
The constant fear, your lips on my neck.
The way it would never be the same again.
You said you would keep it,
But you lied to me when you told.
It should have been ours.
But love doesn't work that way.
I let my guard down,
Even for just a second,
And I pray that it'll still mean as much
With someone else.


[Author Statement: "I came across the Pongo writing web site when I was searching for a place to share my poems. Expressing myself through writing helps me sort out my thoughts and get through tough times, which can be helpful to anyone. It's a safe way to think through issues in my life, and it's important for teens to have places like this, where they can feel like they are being heard."]


Other "Honorable Mention" Recipients, January 2012 
Gasoline 
She Stalks Every Movement