Bubbles by Julia Murray - 1st Place Winner!


There are bubbles everywhere –

My eyes shift in and out of focus

The page in front of me filled with nothing but pale green outlines

Of bubbles.

Faint letters in the center of each bubble – ABCD.

My eyes – poor blue eyes –

Straining from one page to another.

Wrapping my brain around standardized Common Sense –

Then my dullish pencil scrapes carefully over my chosen bubble.

B bubble.

But no matter how much my pink Number Two Soft Lead pencil tries,

It will not fill as perfectly as the example in the corner

Of the page with endless bubbles.

Hours of this –

Straining, grasping, scratching, erasing,

PANIC because timeisrunningout

C bubble – hurry – guess –

Pop the bubbles - fill them with lead, make them sink to the floor.

My mind makes patterns, and I no longer look at the question sheet.

ABCD bubbles –

DCAB bubbles –

Any bubbles!

And time.

I file out with other wearied bubble poppers into the sunshine,

So bright and shocking after hours of confinement.

Everything is so bright!

Bright green and blue, and light everywhere.

Light in trees and reflecting from buildings –

Light on my shoulders – no more bubbles ever again!

But there - light prisiming through silken bubbles floating through the air.

Formed from the breath of the young child lying in the green green grass,

The bubbles revolve slowly in the lazy breeze, shimmering differing colors,

Round and full and blissfully innocent.

Once upon a time, we blew bubbles instead of popping them.

But we are too old now – life requires a score, a ranking.

So keep breathing spheres of glittering air as long as you can, little girl,

Because one day you’ll have to fill them with lead.


By Julia Murray

12th Grade, Altamont