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Downstairs



By: Claire Cao


I’m hungry but I can’t go downstairs.

My stomach rumbles loud,

But not as loud as the screams in my ear.

The shouts are long gone,

Yet the echoes still ring.

They suffocate my thoughts,

Never-ending, forever on repeat.

Why can nobody else hear?


It’s always raining downstairs.

There is no shelter to protect me,

There is nothing I can do.

How can a little girl like me build a roof?

I just watch the oceans flow in,

Salty streams running down my face.

Tidal waves wash me away,

Drowning me in a bottomless sea.


There’s only a tightrope downstairs.

One wrong step,

And it’s a long way down.

I walk on eggshells made from shards of glass,

Each fracture piercing my skin.

Even though the cups are in their cabinets,

Glass keeps shattering,

Over and over, like a broken record.


No, there is too much danger downstairs.

Too many blood-curdling shrieks,

Too many rivers of tears,

Too many broken pieces,

Of what was once home.

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