By Alice Rosenberg
A poem about Ophelia and the thoughts running through her mind.
my brain is so loud it is an earth-shattering mind-encompassing cacophony of heartbreak where the screams and sobs and voices never stop and I just want this orchestra of insanity to be over so I choose the pond by the tree that makes shadows on the ground in the shape of leaves when I lie in the water the branches from cracks in the sky that block out the sun the moss on the rocks are pillows where I can rest my head and the forget-me-nots that litter the shore grow towards the light they remind me of our childhood our bare feet on the cold stone floor the keyhole windows that used to be so far out of reach our love a masterpiece sealed by acrylics and paintbrushes I could even see the pond from your bed at night when the moon was high and the fireflies shone brighter than the stars sometimes if I listened hard enough I could hear the water ripple when a leaf fell and then there were ghosts and your promises and love poems were as fleeting as the dead you chased I can’t believe I ever trusted you til death do us part the water fills my lungs my breath is stolen my clothes billow around my outstretched arms they weigh me down I open my eyes while the shadows obscure the branches and the cold streams through my veins and I just want to see you again and it’s taking so long but then I realize— it’s so very quiet when you’re dead.
I had the idea to write a poem about Ophelia when I was looking back at photos from my theatre group’s production of “Hamlet” from four years ago. I started out by jotting down words that popped into my head when I thought about Ophelia, namely “pond,” “life,” “fear,” “paintings,” “woman,” “beauty” and “love.” I took those words and wrote down a first draft which eventually became this poem after many edits and revisions.
Alice Rosenberg is a 14-year-old writer who keeps track of all of her ideas in one of her many, many notebooks. She loves rainy days, poetry collections and forget-me-nots. Her bedroom walls are filled with magazine cutouts and other paraphernalia she has collected over the years. Her favorite word is "opia," which is the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.