YOUNG POET FEATURE - MATILDA BRAY


MATILDA BRAY - UNITED STATES - AGE 16


I’ve been finding my voice in poetry since I was around five. In 2018 I published my first book of poetry entitled, Under The Moon as My Sun with most of her proceeds going to the Children's Literacy Initiative of Philadelphia. I am a voracious reader, cross-country runner, and writer who regularly competes at open poetry contests. In 2019 I was featured on PhillyCam for the Philly Loves Poetry Interview and Reading Series. In 2020-2021 I participated in seven virtual poetry readings with the Moonstone Press and was interviewed on the Moonstone Poetry Podcast. I have been published in the Schuylkill Valley Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, Rattle, River Poets Journal, and the Moonstone Anthology. Recently, my poetry has taken a more personal route which I find more difficult but also more rewarding. I hope that by being able to capture the true essence of emotion, and the complexity of lived experience, my poetry can speak to those who need it most.

__________


LEAVING MY YOUNGER SELF


Bury me

With Slinky's that intertwine

Metallic twang

No more

Twilight purple and Fanta orange

Dollar store

Bury me with sticky jams

In ingrained glass

Lids all gummy

My little hands

Spoonfuls

Organic brands

Bury me

With skirts of powder pink

Stains I couldn’t find

Memories of twirling

Till the base layer showed

Shiny

Rose gold

Bury me

With flavored ChapStick

Cherry and strawberry

Wrappers where princesses dance around

Their noses small

Eyes big and round

Bury me with my insecurities

My friendless days

And timid ways

The trends I followed

Just to stay

With people who hurt me anyway

__________


TO THE BLUE SHORTS WITH THE BIG PINK FLOWERS

I have a pair of blue shorts with huge pink flowers on either side

The kind that makes you think of Hawaii Even if you’ve never been

Right now the white string That’s supposed to be the belt

Is strangely entwined On a hanging storage unit

That I really just put up to feel more organized

My mirror dances with artificial light

A masterpiece of finger smudges and dust particles

It was meant to be the centerpiece of my room

Now it’s forgotten Off to the side

Nail polish bottle labeled Neon pink - how original

Is opened and tipped over on my desk It’s dried up anyway

It doesn’t matter

I had a dark green canopy to resemble the clusters of

tree leaves in rainforests

Now they lie restlessly under my bed Peeking out from time to time

I just kick them back under I feel very lost Sometimes

Very disorganized and hopeful for some change I’ll never initiate

I just look at the blue flower shorts Hanging loosely from the belt

I wanted to rip them off angrily But I never did

Not till the last day this was my room

I guess I kind of liked it that way

At least those shorts never changed

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