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By Shanaya Mittal

I am fearful of change

Of life dragging me towards the finish line,

as I lose a part of me on every milestone, wanting to pause, to stop.

I am scared of losing my 'Bing-Bong' under blankets of memories locked away,

of missing out on the transition between night and day

Dusk, a time tucked away into my box of childhood charms.

The sun used to calm me down,

melting my frown until all I could hear was my gentle laugh

A warm half of my personality I cling to when bonfires flicker away.

Winter does not scare me. Warmth deprivation does.

Darkness does not scare me. Forever losing my light does.

When I was a child, and the routinely electricity cuts made me jump up,

I used to sleep under the stars.

At that moment, even though they were far, it was the closest I felt to being at peace.

Constellations like messages trying to converse,

I didn't know much but I felt every verse.

Silver dust on my nose

and hair decorated with a fallen rose.

For someone who loves dreaming, I didn't like much sleep.

Night-time was my time.

Reading stories that come alive on paper,

worlds that taper from reality into fiction.

5am birds my only interruption.

The world used to collapse around me

in devastating warmth and beauty,

and haywire parts of life fell into place,

at the count of three.

Loneliness was an emotion that only belonged to the little swan in "The Ugly Duckling".

I often clung to the page

drew hearts arounds it.

I didn't understand why it was called ugly.

A mind-boggling concept I've wrapped my mind around

as loosely as my oversized jacket in the month of December.

Changes threaten me.

So when my jacket began to fit,

to the world beautiful became pretty,

and pretty was a decision made on visual consensus.

I hold on to the beautiful still.

Because when the ice berg of change hits my titanic,

the child me under these layers counts to three.

One- to remind me to breathe

Two- to show me how far I've come

Three- to show me that the galaxy of hope within me is far beyond the galaxy of visible stars without.

I am fearful of change.

But my spirit of hope will always light up the way,

tiny Will O' The wisps my own sunrays.

By Shanaya Mittal

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