Feeding Time

Ilana Drake
Feeding Time

A sea of hostile faces
Tables like fiefdoms
Royalty presiding
Surrounded by
Coats of arms
One table from the next
Defined by social status
Stereotypes abound
Chaos in the room
A cacophony of colors
With one color per castle
Mouths exhaling fire
Inclusion is only a term
Venom sharp as carving knives
In the cafeteria
Sophia wanders aimlessly
From table to table
No place to hide
Fragile teenagers
On tight reigns at home
Un-muzzled and unhinged
Searching for prey
Baiting the daily catch
Sophia is a marionette
Ora Party City piñata
Pull her strings and she dances
Pummel her and she opens
Organs oozing like wrapped candies
By the end of the day
Sophia has been shattered
Face in anguish
Spirit broken
So much for Sweet 16.
Ilana Drake is a first-year student at Vanderbilt University. She is a student activist and writer. She has written for Ms. Magazine, The 74, YR Media, and other national publications. Her work can be found at https://ilanadrake.wixsite.com/mysite/projects
"School cafeteria" by Leo-setä is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd-nc/2.0/jp/?ref=openverse&atype=rich
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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!