The Nightmare Post-Apocalypse; and the Phoenix Rising from the Storm

I. My hands are empty
There is nothing left for them to hold
But the blood of others,
Babies whose first step was to death

II. The weight on my shoulders is crippling
A crucifix bearing the souls of the broken
A cacophony of screams bleeds
From the innermost reaches of my ears

III. The skyline is smoking
And I look toward the tragedy of this first sunset
A survivor in a world that was reborn through death

IV. I try to stand up tall
But still, my body crumbles,
A building that did not survive the storm

V. We did not ask for this
Chance to become heroines
Poster-children, glittering survivors
Who did no right
Who were never wrong

VI. Death hangs heavy in the sky
Clouds full of mourning sit tense
As we beg for floods
Anything to drown our sorrows

VII. The sun splits open the sky
It is still the same shade of blue
As it was yesterday morning
Yesterday does not exist anymore

VIII. I take a breath
This new air tastes like liberation
Marches, and summer days spent talking about civil rights,
Tomorrow

By Zoe L., 15, Australia