Ivy Prison

Julia Cook contemplates social expectations in her vivid poem "Ivy Prison."

Perfectly manicured nails claw at ivy wrapped iron
Flawlessly maintained cuticles
Cultivated during hours of never-ending lectures
Perhaps on Proust or Bohr or the Meaning of Life
Peel and crack beneath the institution’s fiery underbelly

What happened to this girl?
Bedroom wallpapered with certificates and honors
More awards of merit than rooms in her expansive high-rise
A violin ―never practiced, never prized
Yet somehow always perfectly performed―
Leaning against a petal-pink window lauding skylines and promise

Her path was paved before she was born
Her conception an unspoken agreement of the creation of a legacy
How effortless her journey must have been
How painfully, obviously, unbelievably simple
A beacon of light illuminating a gold-paved path
How dare she think to complain

So she sits in a prison of her own submissive making
A leader in print, a child in practice
Her mouth sewn shut by years of watching friends and neighbors
Envy the privileged, nauseating life she leads
That she would give anything to escape

Julia Cook was born in Edison, New Jersey and moved to Norwich, Vermont when she was six years old. Now, at fifteen, she is spending a year abroad in Passy, France, nestled in the valley under Mont Blanc, where she is exploring French art, culture, and language. When not writing, Julia enjoys singing, acting, reading, cooking, learning, and playing with any animal in her sight.
Visual art by Heidi Songqian Li. 

Tags: , , , , , ,