Sleeping Beauty

CONTENT WARNING: Contains references to sexual violence

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Branches - Liora Meyer

A christening of sorts, a girl’s introduction to a life filled with gifts and surprises
Surprise! A beautiful dress
Surprise! Her favorite song
Surprise! A toxic needle, a mixed drink
A loss of control, a dream of a beautiful rose
The petals slowly fall, not the fairest of them all
Her life was an enchanting haze,
She had sixteen years free of pain and sorrow, uncorrupted by time
But time moves forward, innocence falls back into a pile of broken spindles,
And Sleeping Beauty falls back into bed.
As she sleeps people grow like thorns outside the bedroom door
Not many can pass the swarms of bodies almost sleeping too.
One young man, valiant as ever, first penetrates the thorns.
A kiss of life, she would rather be dead.
One hundred years of peace interrupted by one hundred seconds of torture.
One hundred kisses could not have disturbed her drug-induced daze.
The slamming door while he left lifted the curse, she awoke.
Broken, she returned to the castle, unaware of the time that had passed.
The kings and queens welcomed her, but her prince was nowhere to be found.
His face infiltrated her mind and a new curse arose, the curse of memory.

Accompanying Photo: “Branches” by Liora Meyer

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual violence, please visit our Resources section for links to organizations that can help.

Maya Krieger-DeWitt is a senior at Nauset High School in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She spent half of her junior year studying abroad in Israel, and teaches Hebrew at her synagogue. Maya will be attending American University to study International Relations in the fall.
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