2 Poems from Randolph Stow Young Writers Awardee, Rosie Bogumil

10

THE ROADMAP

My body is a roadmap, 
Of white ridges, undulating hills and
Curves of red, mingling with slashes of grey, 
As if a snail raced to cross this broken landscape. 
Slow and steady is the path from darkness, 
While I – the typical hare – cannot bear the harshness
Of reliving these moments. 
Moment by moment by moment 
The light gets further away, 
Until it is untraceable. And I,
With no other option but the impossible, 
Add fault lines to the map. 


A sinusoidal function cycling through emotion, 
Whose only refuge from hurt, 
Is experiencing pain. 
It comes back to that same question, 
Over and over and over. 
And my answer remains the same. 
Always, I reply identically to insolence:
As if I know why
I desecrated my own body,
And formed ridges 
Where there should have been plains
And scars 
Where there should have been none. 
My body is a roadmap, and, like a roadmap,
It is worn, weathered, and rough around the edges, 
From the trials of this adventure called life. 


MAY TWENTY-THIRD, TWO THOUSAND AND NINETEEN

Bad memories lurk beneath green rolling hills, 
simmering with seasons toiled by decay,
a land marked for its absence and its lack,
even by those who choose to stay.
This place festers with bygones 
and the wayward lost,
where vices are disguised 
as adolescent misadventures.
This place hides hurt beneath roiling waves
that crumble against the collapsing coast.
As salted waters sting against scars
leaving breathless gasps to mark their paths
strong winds dry tears and leave me pickled.
This place is one of hatred and despair,
with privileged joys mistaken for burdens,
with experience lost through ash coloured glasses,
that which cannot be returned nor replaced.
This place is underestimated, 
with its stifling heat, 
and broods of gossips gathering.
The single skyscraper, barely reaching the clouds
that graze the sky rarely and tenderly
to drop an ocean desperately sought
by those governed meticulously by time. 
This place, it’s fuller than most I know, 
of life and adventure and joy and trauma;
of sounds and sights and colours like no other.
This place, it’s powerfully loaded, and painful,
and desecrated – not unlike myself – 
but this place is mine;
this place is home.

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