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June-July 2004

A poem from the Young
Writers page: The survivors

- by Jiyeah

Jiyeah

Fatigue dripped from their hooves Short, exhausted breaths puffed out from their nostrils But their harsh riders spurred them on And the coachers gave them nothing but lashes of long, thin whips To get the best out of them Before they would collapse and fall into a dreamless sleep
At the very beginning, when it started all fresh They carried their feet and tail high like the fiery, desert-born Arabians full of pride Some courageous ones fought against the spurs, whips and those who called themselves their masters And tried to explain what it was like to be in their place
But all they got in return were sharp bits of metal digging into their sides, lashes of thin sticks and loud, frustrated ‘Gee-haw’s Yet no answer Day by day, their bearing reins were shortened Their once proud faces lost light and lowered Their limbs moved low and motionlessly like those of an aged mare
But they had not lost hope, they hadn’t given in, not just yet There ‘s always tomorrow, they believed And that’s why they managed to cross the mighty plains in such fatal conditions We can’t give up here, their eyes said They struggled to live on with all their might And they managed, not because they were forced to by their riders But because they wanted to
It’s not about whether you get knocked down, It’s about whether you get up again

Jiyeah is 13 years old and studies at
the Lycée Français in Pondicherry

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