Poetry by Sheila Panyam
I am Tantalus, contained in my own fear of being left behind,
Holding myself back, watching myself slide into nothingness.
But from the confines of this room I can conquer my own destiny,
And create a world that beats to my own rhythm, a melody,
A creation that meets the expectation of a warrior;
I long for a type of glory that stems from gory.
And I know that in this fantasy,
The six hundredth floor of the Empire State Building is really Mt. Olympus.
I will graduate from Hogwarts and get accepted into Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
In a galaxy far, far, away, justice is served and legacies are protected.
Then when I step into my Magic Tree House, I can go the other way, and the future will be at my fingertips.
And when I fly into the past, I can be princess with a kingdom, with a prince, with a purpose.
New York will really be the superhero city filled with guardians impassioned with making a difference.
Pirates would still dominate the sea, recklessly, living courageously, beautifully.
Dinosaurs roam the Earth like they ruled Jurassic Park.
An orchestra of people, incredible people, beating as one, playing in harmony.
But I know
That none of this sense of freedom—
Martyrdom for a beautiful reason—
Will ever be mine because I lack the lives of the people I envy, the characters who’ve sacrificed, the people who exist only in my mind, or the pages of all the novels I can find.
I will seek adventure, eternity and glory
And one day, I will be a part of my own story.
Sheila Panyam is a senior at Lincoln High School. She loves Speech and Debate, volunteering, playing the guitar, reading voraciously, and working on her novels. Poetry is an important part of her life, and she hopes to continue not only writing, but spreading the healing and empowering capabilities of poetry to the world around her.