Cycling Voices, A Haibun

Ahja Hawkins

A bell chimes, melodiously worn-out. A $10 bill is placed on the counter. Green and crumpled, it carries both expectation and guilt. Gimme one scratch, a slurring voice asks the man behind the counter. The cashier, his movements marionette, grabs a scratch card and rings it up. Time fast-forwards as the slurring voice fumbles for the scratch and staggers out the door. Time fast-forwards, this voice’s outcome predictable and soon to be repeated again and again. 
Circles loop de loop.
We’re always learning! We claim.
These cycles repeat.

Ahja Hawkins is a 16-year-old living in Gretna, Louisiana. She attends the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and is currently in her third year of high school. She was the regional winner of Poetry Out Loud, has been awarded a silver key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and won third place in the Pinkie Gordon Lane Poetry Competition. Ahja loves spoken word and slam poetry, and she is always looking for a way to improve her skills. 

"scratch it" by djprybyl is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!