Laughing – Holly Willis

By August 11, 2021 August 20th, 2021 2021 runner up


I’m checking 
Proof reading as I write 
You can catch it if you look close enough 
I mouth my sentence after I have said it 
Nervous tick mmm 
Retracing my steps in the sand 
Inspecting how deep I sink 
Where my weight is

I speak low and monotone 
you make me self-conscious 
I don’t lift my legs enough when I walk 
it’s more like a shuffle across the carpet

Mmm I say 
I laugh too loud 
It’s trying to make people relax I think 
(it doesn’t)

Don’t worry about me, look I’m laughing 
I texted the helpline last night 
I’m pretty sure my mother doesn’t find me interesting
I’m really really scared of not being interesting

I think that I’ve been neglected my whole life 
and I can’t tell you that without laughing

You’re interesting 
she says 
you are mysterious

Riddles are only interesting until they are known

You won’t like what you find 
You dig deeper and deeper 
No water just pebbles and rocks

The stubborn ground you stab your shovel into 
The way your shoulder hurts when you lift it above your head

I hate my room and everything it stands for 
When it’s messy I cannot go in there 
I can’t look you in the eye 
There’s something on my face 
Do not say it 
I’m laughing but 
you’re all not laughing but
I’m wringing my hands

looking out the window
patting my hips 

hiding my face 
making little sounds 

don’t worry about me 

I laugh it off


Holly Willis
Year 13
Wellington Girls’ College


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