Poetry, Grades 7 – 9: Second Place

Snip — Lia Harel

A Parisian street artist once cut my profile. He ripped a piece of black paper out of a well-worn notebook. There were still plenty left, though; plenty more copies waiting to be used. He prepared his assembly-line scissors for their task. Black scraps still clung to the blades from the previous silhouettes, and they were reluctant to let go of the cold steel and fly away with the biting November gust. The Parisian gave a careless flick to the clinging slithers, and they let go, quickly being forgotten. Then he turned his attention towards me.

One glance. That’s all he needed to define who I was.

Snip, my hairstyle.

Snip, my nose.

Snip, my lips.

Snip, my chin.

Snip, my neck.

Voila: me.

He handed me the flimsy profile that battered in the wind. I studied it. I studied it harder. I squinted, turned it sideways, upside down, backwards. I looked at myself, but I couldn’t see me. I only saw a drab little girl who stared off into the distance; a two-dimensional silhouette of another copy.

I held the sheet tight while it fought to elope with the nipping wind. I stuffed it in my pocket, crumpling and denting the clone. I stomped off into a crusty snowbank as my dad paid, and I contemplated the Parisian street artist who had just defined my monotony.
Maybe he was just a bad cutter, though.