Hannah S.

The War For Hunger

It’s the first Sunday of May, the twentieth mile, and I’m about to fall apart. It’s raining. Not a lot, but enough for raindrops to roll down my cheeks. The gray, monstrous clouds drain away all the energy from me, make me stop laughing, and make the birds stop chirping.  

Splish. Splash. As each shoe slaps the ground, heavy mud drops leap into the air and trickle down my legs. I stumble by some sort of war statue with blank, dull eyes. Now I know what it feels like to be him, I think. Stiff, cold, dirty, and empty. Behind him, I zoom in on one of the many surrounding bright signs that says, “You can do it!!!” or “1 mile: CHECKPOINT 7” At the beginning, they comforted me. They made me want to jump, cheer, and laugh. But now, only the finish line can replenish my happiness for exhaustion has fought the battle and won.     

I carefully scan the gloomy sight before me, looking for any sign of the dancing arch of balloons. I cup my ears trying to hear cheers of joy. But all I see are droopy faces, hunching backs, and shivering bodies. All I hear are complaints and moans of pain. With a huge sigh, I’m about to go back to my miserable state when I see something. It is colorful, beautiful, and radiant. It is the garden at the end of the walk.

All of a sudden, my robotic legs come back alive and the smile returns to my face. Shivering with excitement, I run towards the garden, which seems to glow before my eyes. I leap over the murky puddles, zigzag through people, dart past the encouraging signs. I leave the dark, dreary trees behind me and now glimpse at the glistening purple lilacs on my left and the dazzling white lilies on my right. I avoid the buzzing bumblebees as they suck the pollen from one pink peony after another. The blazing sun begins to shine so brightly that the miserable clouds give up and retreat. Blaring beeps and blasting honks fill my ears and get louder as one blur of yellow sped by me.

But I don’t care if I’m about to become deaf or get hit by a car because twenty feet away from me is the place I have dreamed about for the past eight hours. Balloons of yellow, blue, and red, forming a gigantic arch that floats in the sky. They are trapped by the string and could only sway back and forth to the beat of the blasting music coming from purple KISS108 trucks. Wishing for this to be over, a burst of energy soars throughout my body allowing me to sprint to the end. I finished, I think, relieved. I won.


Copyright 2002-2008 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2008 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.