The Court Jester by Cailyn S. - 3rd Place, 9th-12th Grade Category

He hangs on to that card for dear life
As if without it he might actually die.
Which isn’t too far off from the reality at hand.
That card is all that defines him.
Always has been and always will be.
He’s the joker.
The court jester working hard to make a breakthrough.
Playing with your emotions.
As if they were never yours, to begin with.
He makes you laugh until you cry.
Your sides hurt and you gasp for air while you smile at the sky.
Sending vibrations of joy through the air and down your spinal cord.
Giving you a tingle that makes you feel truly alive.
He’s worthless without that title.
The card is all he wants you to see.
Treating it like a mask to hide all his insecurities.
Should the card escape from his pressed wallet slot.
He might just fall.
You’d hear his plea that he’d never been born at all.
Laying on his back staring at the ceiling.
Wishing for an answer to his melancholy call.
Afraid he’s going to let the light shine through.
Like the cracks in the castle wall.
He laughs like he hasn’t a care in the world.
Why does he do this when nobody requires him to stay strong?
He doesn’t want them to see the part of him.
That he’s suppressed for so long.
The weak child people laughed at but for pity.
Now the only pity he sees is from me.
The type he pretends not to need.
Acting as stubborn.
As a toddler insisting not to like green beans.
No one’s seen him without his card kept safe in his pocket.
That is except for me.
Like a king whose kingdom has fallen to its knees.
With his crown that dropped to his feet.
That is a sight no one wishes to see.
It’s sad and torturing to witness the pain.
His broken smile secretly bleeds.
This poem is dedicated to.
The jester who lives down the street.

-- Cailyn S.