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A Light in the Dark
Light
Author Rae
Genre poem
Rating Teen
Content Mature/Teen (mentions of drunkenness, self-harm)

This isn't my submitted poem, but it's a favorite, and a good start for inspiration.

The depth of the night is black, or at least it should be.
This side of midnight is silence—well, it usually is.
A synthetic ring; a shake throughout my bed as a bright light
pulls me from my REM and my eyelids drag open, sticking
to the bottom, then top of the socket as I blink awake.

Why is she doing this? Why doesn’t she love me?
Heated breaths push through the hard-rubbed tears on the other end,
and I sit up, forcing my ratty hair away from my face,
groping around for glasses to see more clearly.

Where are you? is all I say, listening to the humming
sounds of angry engine revving between our words;
Outside his simple answer, and I sigh at the blue truck below my window.

There’s no need for niceties—no jeans or bra, hellos or what’s wrong—
just me stealing down the stairs, watching that creaky second step,
out the front door and clambering into the passenger side.

I catch the wafting booze, but it’s far from my mind;
I see the scars, and the ones that will be, and my heart aches
when all I can do is feel small as I rest my arm near his.
His mind on her, we drive away together, moving nowhere
as quickly as the gear shift can take us there.

I say nothing, and neither does he, as we both
race along the empty streets of a nothing town.
There’s nothing to say, about her, or him, or me for that matter.

His volley of emotions are played out by accelerator.
Passion drives us faster and further, reckless and deadly;
depression slows to watch a green light change back.

His mind finally exhausts itself, or maybe it’s his liver,
because there’s my street, my house as dark as it always should be,
and I lean to his side, pulling him against me
as if to relieve his pain by sheer crushing force.

I slip back upstairs under my comforter and watch
his light withdraw, close my eyes and retreat back into the black.


  • This is a classified as a long poem-- each line is a minimum of eleven syllables long, with preferably no more than sixteen, and a minimum of twenty lines total.

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