Watch Your Feet

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Georgia Parke, a Junior at Stowe High School, completed this
piece while attending the Vermont Governor’s Institute on the Arts. Inspired by
the prompt "Perhaps it was the clams…" Georgia combined her irrational fear of
the ocean with ideas of conformity and, conversely, standing out in the crowd.

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Perhaps it was the clams

who stole the

burdensome pearl

from the longer green oyster

who couldn’t hold a note underwater

if its place in the sand depended on

Perhaps it was the solemn starfish

who choked on


when the old man threw it headfirst

back into the reef.

Perhaps it was the foreign snorkeler

lovesick seasick

adventuresome pride,

started to drown when

she lost sight of the sky

and was saved

by the underwater mountain that drew

blood from her toes.

Perhaps it was those bittersweet


that taught children to

fear the depths of the sea.

Fear the tide!

Fear the figures pushing you away

from the walls and into the

middle of the carpet the

middle of the room the

middle of the ocean where

you can swim on your own with


to assist you but the muscles in your

you grew from running back and forth

away from the rising tides.

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