‘Paper Swords’ by Rose Halward

This week the Friday Story features a piece by Rose Halward, a member of the First Story group at Lincoln Castle Academy, led by writer-in-residence Steve Cawte. We invite you to read her striking poem ‘Paper Swords’, in which Rose powerfully explores the battlefield that is creativity.

You can read more writing by Rose and the rest of the group in the anthology Sugar Quoted, which is available for purchase here.

‘Paper Swords’ by Rose Halward

Whilst they played hide and seek,
We made papier-mâché helmets.
When we wore them, we could face anything
They kept the good in and the bad out
A force field that protected childhood’s innocence

Our futures were printed onto colouring pages
Teaching us from the beginning how to stay in the lines
Stepping out would mean imperfection
Keeping in would be isolation

We joined letters up with a graphite pencil
Erased the bonds if they didn’t meet our standards
Forgetting about them as they resided in vintage memories

We would block hits with cardboard shields
Revising battle plans from a textbook.

Stabbing at conflicting emotions with paper swords.


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