Home

Writing Catalog


Samantha Werbeck

Grade: 11

Hawken School

Instructor: Josh Cracraft

Moments

Poetry

Moments

It's the moments like these

When the lights are off
The clouds cover the sun
And the computers are the only source of light
The music in your ears is the only source of sound
When the classroom is still,
Lost in a vortex of research
And scientific opinions

When the rain is already soaked through your jacket, through your sweats,
And you can't tell if you're swallowing sweat or rain
Because everything is blurry
Is this what it's like to need glasses?
Constantly squinting
And wiping the drops of water
Off your eyelashes
When the mud splashes in your shoes
And nothing is completely dry

When the acrid smoke burns your eyes and your throat
(even through a mask)
But you're grateful for the warmth
Grateful for something to focus on in these distracting woods:
The flickering of the oranges flames,
Scaring the wood black
When the wind shifts,
You breathe in easily for a minute
Then move your seat in a futile attempt
To avoid the persistent smoke

When the darkness surrounds you
Pierced by blood-red lights,
Sunset orange lights,
Dandelion yellow lights,
As you watch the photo unfold
The developer spreading across the paper
Like an artistic stroke
Of black and white life
When the photo is finally finished
And you hold it up,
Wondering if it's dark enough,
If it's sharp enough

When the words on the page are your only focus
The song in your ear is only endless muddled nonsense
And you put yourself in someone else's shoes
For a mile, for a page, for just a bit
Where quotes may support arguments
But analysis will win them
Where projections of
Reality becomes fiction
The world bends to your rule
And all the characters become your puppets
For a play purely performed in imagination
Never the same in someone's else head
Always different, always changing, in yours

When you're stuck on the in-between
Waiting for an appointment
Getting ready to leave the house
Sitting in the car,
Hoping the world will never start again
Just so you can stay in the timeless moment
Endlessly, infinite, timeless moment
Until your name is called,
You walk out the door,
The car jerks to a stop

All these moments are fleeting
They pass under our consciousness
Only small, acutely aware feelings accompany them
Beyond that,

It's only a moment


Fever Dream

Poetry

Fever Dream

What is this?
A memory buried under fog and long forgotten horrors of the past
Where the haze of painkillers and affliction drew a curtain over the moment
I don't remember much about that night
Though you filled in the missing bits with concern lacing your voice
Spitting sharp words was common for me, but to complete it with brutal punches was new
(I never told you why I was there that night -
My little brother told me something that cut deep in barely healed scars
It was something I've realized he could never take back,
Even if he wanted to reconsider and reconcile)
I recalled the memory of hitting the floor, of my arm twisting,
Of my whole brain agonizing over the fire shooting through my shoulder
There were people - so many damn people - hovering over me, with jumbled bits of language,
Until one shouted -
And the world quieted
I knew your voice carried more power than your actions ever did
It was down to one face (yours)
You looked at me with that face (the one I melt over)
And from there, I went to the hell of monitors and waiting, talking and waiting
(You knew that place well, so you said)

I always thought it was a fever dream
Born from desire
And from the vivid imagination of one
who dreams too much
I always thought it was a fever dream
Beyond the veil of reality
Yet so vivid in my head
God, it tore a hole in my heart to know it wasn't real

I don' t know how I fell in love with you
And yet I can list all the things he never could
I could tell the world all of my favorite things about you
Like how you wake up from vivid dreams with stories I could never tell,
scrambling to put it into flowing words
before it slips from your fingers forever
Like how your past leaves you with ragged scars and constant ghosts,
Yet you plow forward, making a name for yourself beyond the whispered rumors
Even after you've realized how to let go and be freer than you ever imagined to be
Like how you stayed by my side,
wringing your hands and pacing in that endless, timeless room of anticipation
And fought your way through the persistent "family only"
With the idea of pretending to be my girlfriend
(Ironic how that turned out to be true,
Though neither of us expected it at the time)
Like how even with the leak of your past, your carefully built walls,
You came back to say goodbye before you left for another country (really, it was another world)
And I, still stuck in the world of a muted reality, wanted to kiss you so badly,
To hold you close, make that beautiful face crack into a smile,
I just wanted my dream to come true. I just wanted to kiss you.
(So I did.
And you kissed me back.)

I always thought it was a fever dream
Born from desire
And from the vivid imagination of one
who dreams too much
I always thought it was a fever dream
Beyond the veil of reality
Yet so vivid in my head
God, it tore a hole in my heart to know it wasn't real

But why does it feel so real?
Like I held your face in my hand
(The other one cradled close to my chest
Which you were so gentle with,
So careful to avoid)
The flowering feeling that burst in my chest
The way it felt so right
Even though I loved too often, my carelessness bringing each relationship up short
While you loved only once before and were drowning in the idea of loving once again

I always thought it was a fever dream
Born from desire
And from the vivid imagination of one
who dreams too much
I always thought it was a fever dream
Beyond the veil of reality
Yet so vivid in my head
God, it tore a hole in my heart to know it wasn't real

But then you told me….
You told me
It wasn't a fucking
Fever dream