underground girls

Hannah Rouse
the woods were made
of girls buried beneath
piles of dirt and rocks.
their hair grew into
tree trunks, branches
as fragile as porcelain.
bones turned to roots.
blood became dew
drops on dead grass.
lungs breathed the moss
snaking up the trunk.
nails, broken glass
from abandoned bottles.
fingers formed flowers,
free but forgotten.
their hearts were carved
softly into the bark.
the huntsman went after
a young growing tree,
the kind easier to kill.
his ax sharpened, with a
house hungry for firewood.
he sliced through
her thin hair, cutting
down the tree. her
tears not heard
through the soil.
cries for help muffled
by wildflowers. suffocating
on dry, cracked grass.
but now he wants more
than her wood for his fire.
he wants the woods.
and he sets the entire
forest aflame to take it.
his ashes are the
only thing left of the
underground girls.
Hannah Rouse is currently a freshman at the Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts and Technology as a Literary Arts major. Hannah is 15 years old and lives in Chesterfield, Virginia. When Hannah's not busy writing or doing homework, Hannah can be found either reading or dancing. Hannah previously won runner up for poetry in Georgia Southern University's High School Writing Contest.
"The Woods Nature Tree Forest Beauty In Nature Growth No People Tranquility Outdoors Landscape Plant Scenics Fog Backgrounds Freshness Blackandwhite Black And White Woods Spooky" by markjowen66 is marked with CC BY-NC 2.0. To view the terms, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/?ref=openverse
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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!