Sunset Kid by Samantha Jackson Prince Georges County Youth Poet Laureate

I’m just a sunset kid.
I get cold feet.
I runaway often.
More than i walk.
I think often.
More than i talk.
I hold my fears close like footnotes my brain has yet to delete.
I’m a hoarder of things like moments and being frozen in 79° heat.
I find comfort in blankets to keep the chill away, and the deepest pits of bedroom corners to keep the real away. Sober moments are more real? More likely to deal my debt in soul and feed each other coal for breakfast. Cold we are when we walk too much.
Ironically my biggest fear is to be frozen in place.
My biggest goal is to not exist peacefully.
To disappear and be back tomorrow.

I’m a sunset, kid.
I’m warmest at 7:20 in the summer
U will only ever catch me in glimpses
I give you chills up spine like upwind like downhill doesn’t seem that tragic
I make it all-
this life-
not seem that tragic
I think this mess
I think all of this, and it may or may not be true
But who cares what’s real when you’re captivated by 7:20 sun rays and waves of an aesthetic resembling hope and love and life
despite all of the clouds and jagged forks in the road I still am vibrant oranges and purples.
I am still vibrant
still a quiet scream when you pick up your head.
I am a vast sky crying out to you trying not to fall.
I am only noticed in my most saturated moments
if only the gashes in my sky are russet enough for you to photograph… to notice
the footprints in my path of little sunset children finding their way home.
but i am always here. Always somewhere to be followed..

But Look at me, kid. I am always here, so there is always hope
There is hope. And love. And life. Despite time, and tragedy, and dark pits in bedroom corners.
I know you’re scared to get older and fold away life like ya grandmothers quilt for winter.
you never actually met her; she died before the sun came up.
They say she was a lot like you. Probably a sunset kid too.
Caught her last glimpse adieu adieu…
I know you’re scared of missing another sunset.
You’re scared your summer nights will grow colder and inside for no reason and all of the time
and that life will no longer wait for you and you’re right.
It won’t.
It hasn’t yet. I know one of your biggest fears is that one day you’ll be inside a home on bedrest all of the time, and the rest of the world will be sitting warm in an ocean of tomorrow. You’re scared that you won’t get to disappear and be back by then.
That your bones would have grown tired by now and that time will not be waiting for you. That there will be no more time for cartwheels in warm grass, late night drives and impromptu photo shoots in front of the pizza place down the street with your friends.
Or shopping cart races, bonfires, fireplace or anything left to scrapbook the scramble of the rest of your life…. i know you’re scared kid. So am i.

I’m just a sunset-
kid and never ready to go away forever.
She asked him “When does youth end?” I used to calculate my answer in numbers but lately my fingers has been getting tired of marking up this calendar.
I AM NOT dying today.
But if i do I pray tomorrow will have footprints in the sky and a warm wind to carry me home and soothe this cry.
I am only just a sunset kid. I don’t know when I’ll catch my last glimpse or if it will ever be enough.
Now, I do not plan on dying today, but if i do disappear
tell her
i’ll be back tomorrow.

Sofia Snow