Woodpecker and Sky High Mountain

Alex Patras
I am like a woodpecker.
Yes, the bird.
I make noise with every move I make,
with every breath I take, for my own sake.
I cling to the trees with every fiber of my being
because trees don’t up and leave on me.
I am like a woodpecker.
Dead trees are more appealing than living ones
solely because I can relate more to the slowdecaying
of leaves and branches like my soul to the sea
and I can relate to getting cut down with no warning
and I can relate to the simple fact of feeling dead.
Now, this isn’t something I’ve shared before.
I’ve had the grim reaper knocking at my door.
It was a close call, they said.
Little did they know, I still wished I were dead.
I am like a woodpecker in the way a corpse is a human being.
In the way that time is slowly fleeting.
Similar enough in a sense to make the connection.
I’m sorry if this scares you, it’s not my intention.
I speak my mind despite not being spoken to,
And I speak my mind because I feel it is the right thing to do.
I open my mouth and my heart to anyone who gives me and ounce of attention
It seems to give my life meaning and direction.
I am like a woodpecker like a moth to a flame.
I feel no shame for the words I say and the truths I speak.
I make my voice is heard from miles away,
and still you decide to stay.
Sky High Mountain

single file out the door
all the while yearning for more

“let nature be” they said
millions of coping skills drilled in my head

hours upon hours of therapeutic tactics
yet never discussing genuine happiness

forty two days of utter misery
i wonder if my family is missing me

a punch in the gut another in the face
imploring us to find our saving grace

the days drag on and on and on
as i attempt to find where i went wrong

to this day i have not found it
but i am still reminded of the dreaded sky high mountain
Alex Patras is starting her senior year at Oswego East High School in Illinois soon. She has been writing poetry and short stories since she was little, and always excelled at English classes. Mental health is an important topic in her work. Through writing, Alex hopes to help people going through similar struggles know they are not alone.

"Mexico-5815 - Red-bellied Woodpecker" by archer10 (Dennis) is licensed under CC BY-SA 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!