2019 – Ages 15-18 Years: Winner

Noor al-Musawi (Age 17)

Theme – Who am I?

Judges’ comments: An honest insight by the poet, who reflects on her own fallibility through a series of quatrains. The alternating rhyming couplets work incredibly well and enhance the rhythm of this piece. Beautifully candid and sensitive.

Daily Mirror Reflections

I stood in front of the mirror,
After it took everything in me,
Only to see a scared, bare-faced sinner,
With a rather long history.

But beyond her outer-layer was her inner,
A thing of not-so-pure beauty.
A hurting soul, a mere beginner,
Struggling to carry out her duty.

One could say she had a long life ahead,
But that’s not what she saw.
She saw a casket, not a bed,
She saw her life as a war.

A warrior, one could call her,
Oh boy, could she put up a fight.
And anyone who saw her,
Knew she want scared to bite.

Except when I took a closer view,
I saw the cracks, the pain, her tears.
“She bites off more than she can chew.
She’s drowning in doubts and fears.”

But what particularly caught my eye,
Were the words inked on her skin.
Every “hello,” “good day” and “goodbye,”
Every sin, was written within.

The biggest word, inked in bold,
“Beware of desire,” it read,
Shaking, lips blue, skin cold,
Those words kept echoing in my head.

I knew this girl didn’t fit a mould,
I knew she’d rather be dead,
Than to restrict herself, to compress and fold,
And turn into a robot instead.

The hope this woman could inspire,
In my heart, was more than she knew.
In my very own self, there sparked a fire,
That told me I could change too!

Her willpower, I could only admire,
And over time her patience grew.
It’s strange to see just what desire
Will make foolish people do.


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