How to Dream – Oshadha Perera

By August 1, 2023 August 17th, 2023 2023 runner up

How to Dream

Dreams are when your eyes are closed,
each breath falling on to the empty air,
pulsing around your bruised skin,
and you would remember how you walked
for miles and miles and miles,
until your feet cracked open,
red soil under the red clouds,
a lost sky gushing down with water.

Dreams are when your mind learns to drive,
speeding along the highway, back home.
See how the mountains are still the same red,
and how the barbed wire still glints in the sun?
Remember how you hid behind those tussocks,
eyes closed, face pressed against the ground,
tears dissolving into the hardened soil?

Dreams are when you stay awake at night,
feeling the lactic acid boil in your legs,
open eyes that stare into nightlight
and thawed memories that run down your cheeks.
You’ll taste the new language,
the sweetness of mangoes and mandarins,
imagining tomorrow, a new day,
but your eyes will still be moist,
your legs still ready to run.


Oshadha Perera
Year 13
Southland Boys’ High School, Invercargill

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