A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY PAXTON CALDER
Deep Rumbling from Within
It started out small,
A deep yet distant rumbling coming from my core.
I thought nothing of it.
Like a virus being transmitted from person to person,
Until an entire community is infected.
A deep rumbling within my bones,
Reverberating each part simultaneously.
I began to think more of it,
But got nowhere.
What could it be?
What could be causing it?
I hadn’t a clue.
Such a disruption,
Like a magnet,
Pulling me in one direction.
And then it ceased to continue.
But it returned stronger than ever,
With the force of a thousand stallions galloping in unison behind it.
This time it shook me.
It was in my core,
In my bones,
And now tumbling through my veins,
Like a rainstick being shaken,
Reaching my extremities,
Making my teeth chatter,
My feet tap,
My fingertips tingle,
My body warm,
It was as if I could jump for joy.
And then it hits me,
Like how the heat hits you when you walk out onto a patio in the South
And something must have fallen perfectly into place
Because I realized what the deep rumbling from within was,
A yearning of sorts,
A sign that I was incomplete without release.
Supposedly a positive thing.
Meaning you’ll go far in life,
You’ll change the world,
You’re the future.
But what you don’t hear about the “gifted” kids
Is how we’re ridiculed in the cafeteria,
How we walk by and a table of these people we call peers
Shouts math problems at us as fast as they can get the words to spill out of their mouths
Like a fire hose,
Drenching us with shame and embarrassment of who we are.
The laughter reverberates off the walls,
Flooding into the hallways
They mock us and assume we all think so highly of ourselves, but
We suffer, too.
We have lives.
We get sad.
We get anxious.
We get depressed.
We worry about friends and prom and dates and whether or not the football team will win the state championship.
We go to dances and parties and play sports.
We go out on the weekends and shop and goof off.
We make mistakes and bad choices.
“Gifted” kids are treated like a different species.
Yet all kids,
Gifted or not,
Worry about impressing others and living up to a standard.
Our “gift” isn’t being exempt from everyday teenage problems.
The land of misfit toys.
A place for the outcast in us all.
The right table allows you to navigate troubled waters.
The right table fits like the shoe between two sizes.
The right table will pull you to it like a magnet.
Mine is a table across grade levels,
You never know who you might meet
Or what life you might find
Or whose souls you will touch
From across the right table.
Hit play and it all comes flooding back.
The music begins flowing and it moves all around me,
Embracing me in the warmest of hugs,
Pouring through the room and rolling off of objects,
Creating an electric pulse that zaps off my walls,
Hanging in low clouds over my carpeted floor like a dense fog,
Entering my ears and coursing through my veins.
It tingles as it reaches the tips of my fingers,
Weighing down every bone in my body,
Holding me in place, rooted to this very spot.
Hours pass in seconds,
And yet it feels like no time has passed at all.
Each word comes out slowly,
Being fed to me by the spoonful
And yet each has a special place in my brain and heart.
No word goes unnoticed.
No word is insignificant.
No word is incomplete.
Each song transports me to
A new life,
A new place,
A new time,
And yet I can relate to them all.
A puzzle of stories and voices
Hidden in each of us and shared amongst us.
Something so destructive and scary and big,
Has opened my eyes,
But made me feel so weak and frightened and small.
Without the hustle and bustle of my old life,
My new one allows me to breathe in and out.
In and out. In and out.
How red the cardinals are, like the freshest of blood.
How my neighbors take their strolls, go for their runs, walk their dogs at the same times every day.
How many different ways the sun can set in Virginia,
One day pink and purple skies, blending as far as the eye can see,
Another blue sky with fluffy cumulus clouds and glorious orange yellow rays streaking their way through,
Waving goodbye for now.
How the trees that I used to shuffle by under for sixteen busy years appear so tall and grand and mighty now.
How quiet the nights are,
No cars driving down the street,
No music from the house next door,
Only the thunder of the South,
Made all the louder by the emptiness of this time.
How incredible it is to realize that the entire world is on pause and
How my children and grandchildren will pester me as I did to mine to tell stories of how life was way back when.
What goes around comes around.
Paxton Calder is a student at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, Virginia and an avid reader/writer who loves sharing personal memories through her work. She used to dislike poetry, but has recently developed a deep admiration for it while being in self-isolation, which has prompted her to question her values and appreciate what she has. Paxton tries to write about topics that all people can relate to and she heard about Hypernova Lit while searching online for platforms to share her stories.