"Weight of the Crown" by Rowan Wilson
Anonymous, you meant for me to be flawless
as a freshly picked rose. Instead, I resemble
that of the Giant Padma, similar to you. Parasitic
and life-sucking, we attach onto anything that
lets us live on, deprived as we are of self. Like
the Padma, we take the brightest of other living
beings and turn them to stinking flesh. To put it
another way, we repeat the cycle of generations
before us. Over and over… we are lonely shells
of forgotten people, grasping goodness from the
world around us. We feign innocence and steal it
because it keeps us alive for a little while longer.
Our kindness is an illusion to draw the innocent in.
We pretend to win. You and I are one and the same
because you formed me. This disease permeates
our every thought, action, and feeling
How long can I keep up with this game?
Can I break this monotonous routine?
Ryann Klein is an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a major in History. She hopes to be an educator either at the high school or university level with this degree. In her free time, she enjoys reading poetry as well as fantasy fiction novels.
Rowan Wilson, 17, Watertown, has been weighed down with long-haul COVID symptoms for the last year-plus whilst trying to keep up as a student, writer, artist and performer. The experience of chronic fatigue and chronic pain following COVID have informed Rowan's art in this past year.