©2019 by Canvas Literary Journal

Published by Cosmographia Books

Background art “Camouflage” by Hyung Jin Lee

Canvas logo by Ali Wrona

Brown-Skinned Girls

Anushka E.

Autumn 2019

i will always remember those brown-skinned girls

with beautifully thick blankets of dark hair
the warm dirt under their blackened feet
as the foundation of their playground

from the moment the sun opened its burnt orange eyes

until the innocence of day disappeared
were they compelled to work in a predator’s field
they had been recklessly stripped of their volition

for their megaphones were replaced
with brooms and beatings and burdens
their voices became caged prisoners
silent and afraid and tortured
the water they carried above their heads
was a mixture of the polluted streams with their tears

fear was no longer a distant thought
but rather a terrifying countdown
before another lion decided
their ravenous appetite
craved the taste of a helpless creature
those brown-skinned girls
with their petrified expressions
as they heard her scream and struggle
while the predator leaped on his prey

Anushka E. is a fourteen-year-old high school freshmen from New Jersey. From a young age, she has harbored an endless passion for writing, especially poetry. As a dog lover, travel enthusiast, and Netflix addict, Anushka continuously searches for outlets to explore her interests. She believes poetry is her greatest form of expression and is always creating stories through her words.