Their Prize or My Price

This poem describes the internal struggles, and the emotional scars of bullying.
Profile picture of Disha Ransingh

Created by Disha Ransingh

Published on Jan 24, 2024
lockers in a dark hallway
Sin on Unsplash

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Their Prize or My Price

Indeed, it’s not just my books that I carry in the school bag

but a brown leaf from the branch where my soul hangs,

Waiting, to be crushed in the fists of their smirks and laughter

as they crowd me in the slate-grey shadows of the corridor,

They bang the metal doors of their lockers as they ask me

if I have that shimmery dress or why grace is something I can never be,

And I hide my eyes until I latch and lock the washroom door

to weep for the teardrops to dry on the polished floor;


I sit with my head low in the corner of the corners

as they play and mould me into a brittle clay armour,

They see me as some coarse stone that stays in a maze

so they rub their blades on me, for its edge to blaze under ochre rays,

I know they make their whispers louder for me to hear

louder enough that it’s echoes make my walls wear and tear,

I know it’s a flammable heart that lives under my thin skin

but why did they burn it to light their fireplaces within?


When the clock strikes for us to leave and go back home

I wonder how slowly the rods of my school gates are turning thorns

as if the next day, they’ll place my palm on it, to see my blood mourn,

Then I see my mother’s eyes gleam to ask how was the day

and I just nod, trying to hide today’s bruise when I say,

Duly, the next daylight brings a blackness for me to bear

for the pieces of cotton of my pillow still smell like yesterday’s tear,

Then, when I ask myself if my silence is a prize to my bully

Or just the price I pay when I tolerate it fully?




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