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The Field
By Hannah Watkins
Genre: Poetry Level: High School 10-12
Category: UAA/ADN Creative Writing Contest

This is the generation that will change the world, I think that we all like to think,
These are the years when the sadness and tears will go swirling down the sink.
We denounce all the bullies as stained in red paint, but find ourselves perfectly clean,
As a man who thinks himself a saint ignores the sins he's seen.
Think of those who have taunted you, of the pain you felt at their words,
No one said that you couldn't feel wronged, but they're not the only cruelties you've heard.
It's an ugly truth we all like to ignore: bullies aren't a select few,
They're all of us, past and future, and at some point it's going to be you.
It sounds terrible, I know, but I don't discount your pain,
Just if you find yourself wet and you blame the rain,
Remember that feeling of being targeted by all
Next time it's your turn to make the rain fall.
And yes, we've all been victims, some more than others,
So why don't we remember when we create another?
Think of the song, sticks and stones, and can't you see the wrong?
Scars on our souls are there forever, bodies don't last so long.
Do you understand what I mean when I say stop before you start?
Don't pull the knife out of your leg and stab someone else through the heart.
Pain doesn't grow in a fallow field, we all sow the seeds,
Sure, some plant more than others, but they'll still grow into weeds.
When will the cycle finally end, or at least abate,
Because how can you expect to reap only love if all you sow is hate?
Now I ask you this: can you find the strength
To take the cowardice inside you and shake it by the neck?
Find the ones who you have hurt, use words to heal their sadness,
"I'm sorry, it was unforgivable, but still I beg forgiveness."
With your words you have the power to hurt or to heal,
A yes-or-no question of how you make people feel.
Will the field be strangled by the encroaching leaves of weeds,
Or can we tear them down and plant some everlasting trees?
The sun won't shine selectively, the rain won't fall for just a few,
The tools are lying waiting, so now it's up to you.
And should you choose to take the plow, the timeless quote still stands:
Should you touch someone and find them dirty, perhaps it's time to wash your hands.

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