Olive – Extended Prose Poem


Extended Prose Poem

Olive | Crusoe 7-10 Secondary College
Secondary English | Term 1 2021

Our land,
Not as it once was.
Fear controls us;
and with glazed eyes,
we follow the last of the living down,
into a future, insusceptible to change.

A voice blares in my ears,
It’s my voice.
A voice no soul has had the pleasure of hearing,
ever and in no eternity.
I clutch Madge to my chest;
a dead daisy,
that has brought hope into my hopeless existence.
Madge was a gift,
both metaphorically and literally.
A little girl…a little girl gifted it.
Right before she was slaughtered before me,
before everyone.
Everyone saw, no one acted.
This gift;
has quite a bittersweet symbolism attached.
The ancients believed that when a child were to pass,
the gods, high in the infinity,
would bestow upon the grievers
a bouquet of wilted daisies,
tied with fine black lace.

The voice screeches and wails.
I am the single soul that can hear it.
And I can hear it,
it’s so impossibly loud.
My hands rise up,
and I let them.
They fix themselves to my ears,
as if trying to muffle the screams.
It does nothing.
I expected nothing.

The sun is rising.
Alluring in all its golden glory.
Incandescent against the beige oasis,
that once was sky.
My life has become this complex riddle,
every day is a clone of the last,
and yet…
I still haven’t found comfort in this bitter routine.

The shrieks go on.
Longer now.
Filled with a deep anger,
stronger than I knew.

The one leading my life,
is me.
Pale, greyish skin,
emaciated and hollow.
Iron runs in my blood,
steel coats my skin,
but I’m not a cyborg.
I’m a project,
a tinkerers hobby.
The first test subject in generation-0.
The last of the livings first attempt at perfection.
The perfect lifeform.

I was ripped apart.
And stitched together again,
over and over.
Living through it all.
Eternal torture was the result.
The human in me
to be released.

I escaped before they tapped my brain.
I escaped, and now
I continue to escape,
every day.
My home is in the outlands.
The outlands.
A desolate place,
devoid of life,
except the remaining undeniably human of us,
preciously tucked away;
hiding from the brutal laws and customs,
of the inner city.

The inner city.
The last of the living’s land.
Home to Generation-999…
the true perfect being.
Tech of the highest calibre,
crammed into the sallow shell,
that used to be a human being.

Meek and tender.
Are bound to a life of slavery,
until they come of age.
Until they are big enough to be hollowed out,
and stuffed.
Turned into a lifeless robot.
but not alive.
A permanent smile,
stitched to their face.
If they refuse treatment?
They are massacred,
and dubbed failed experiments.
Condemned to a life of torture in the heart of the city.

This is earth.
This is home.
This is country.
Fear drives us forward,
and holds us back.
We have grown small as a nation,
but large as a society.

My mind snaps back,
snaps back to the now.
I know where I am.
I lay in a salt stream,
Thank heavens.

I stand up
and survey my surroundings,
this salt stream is narrow,
narrower than I thought.
The colour of the infinity.

I walk across it,
and step out of it,
careful not to stub my toe on a protruding rock.
Dead, dry, desolate.
As always.
Nothing’s changed.
I pull the straps on my leather rucksack tighter,
they cling to my scrawny shoulders.
The UV is high today.
Today is Monday.
It’s time to move.
So I do.

My wide-brimmed hat,
falls across my face.
I trip on a stone.
And I feel myself fall.

This cannot happen.
Not now.
I have to move.
I have to go.
They’ll find me.

I fall until I stop.
I hear the soft splash my feet make in the salt stream.
Not dry.
I feel the burning before I feel the dampness.

‘Gotta get out’,
I reach around to my rucksack,
a rag.
I grab a rag,
and furiously rub at my feet.
They won’t move!
I beg them to step out of the stream,
I plead to them.

The voice intensifies.

The gradual rise and fall of my chest,
turns into a rapid pulsating movement.
I am finding it harder and harder to catch my breath.
I reach down to try and pull out my feet manually,
they won’t budge.
They remain stubborn,
and stuck.

I can’t get wet,
But I have.
I’m not dead yet,
but I might be soon.

I inhale sharply,
and muster a shaky exhale
as I reach around to my rucksack once more.
I pull out my rusty pen-knife.
I start hacking at my ankles,
chopping away at my skin and the complex array of wires beneath.
It burns.
I howl.
Arousing the city guards.
But I don’t stop.
The stream runs red with my impure blood.

The final cut sends me tumbling backward,
landing with a thud on the hard-baked ground.
The pain is blinding,
I can’t look.
I don’t look.

Olive | Crusoe 7-10 Secondary College

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