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Metamorphosis: A Poem

By Gillian Bennett

(contest winner)

During the race,

I found a


laying next to a

rotting log.

Translucent and white, tiny


still visible.

Some ghost of the past,

left behind as a fragment

while the rest remained

a whole. 

The other kids thought

it was something


but I knew, 

transformation demands a

kind of death. 

They poked at it with sticks

like they were prodding


like they could make it move.

In inanimate defiance, it stayed


in the mud,

as if to say,

be afraid,

be very afraid,

I am your future.

Limp, empty, lifeless.

As we live, so must we die. 

In the same breath,

it said to me, 

be not afraid,

for I am not gone.


And now, I must learn

to shed my skin,

to shatter my shell,

as the snake did,

as the hatchling does

My final trick in this


I will do it, as well as I

am able.

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