The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School


The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School


The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School


“The Prophecy of The Unmasked Poet”

Madi Watson

Ladies and gentlemen, we have lived through a global pandemic.


Shout it from the rooftops, and share it with your children, and their children, and their children. 


Show them our battle scars, our face shields, and cardboard posters.


Tell them we lived and lost and learned so much. So fast. So unforgivably, relentlessly, brutally fast. This silent killer snatched our smiles, sanity, safety, and snuck away, leaving us to trace its evanescent tracks. 


Once captured, the beast could never be fully contained or kept under control. We were forced to draw the curtains—hues of blue, black, and everything in between—dimming the lights of stages, Sunday services, and simple, silent sentences. 


And our prayers and petitions went out to those whose lives were taken by another beast, 

whose unholy knees are not fit to beg and bellow and bawl for mercy in any place of worship. 


Because the wheezing whisper of the words “I can’t breathe,” pierced the hearts of millions, echoing as cries of the people of protest and peace, stirring us to action. 

No justice means no peace, for the rightly police and the wrongly deceased. 


Holidays were hosted at home. Birthday presents were swapped for car caravans. 

School buildings became state penitentiaries of learning, and locating the right answers. Hospitals became filled with hell and hell-fighters. Breathing and being was muffled, muted, 

and murdered. For months. And months. And months. 


Modern medicine, however rapid it may be, takes time and testing. This was the only exam 

one wanted to fail to avoid quarantine for a fortnight. Indeed, it took many moons to create this Moderna miracle. And the beast finally howled in defeat. 


So swift and painless was the cure that could end it all, leaving one sore, yet sure 

that the curtains will open once again. 


Ladies and gentlemen, let your children know of this time. Tell them how we survived 

and thrived, but do not forget to show them our scars of proof, our scars of struggle, our scars that will be written as another chapter in the history books. 


Let them study statistics, but allow them to breathe the stale air behind our worn-out masks, and watch their smiles disappear, even after the unforgiving shield is lifted. 


See them struggle to hear, to understand, to comprehend the magnitude of what the person standing just six feet away is saying to them. 


But reassure them that those days have passed, and we are still standing, our strength having amassed. Because now we can smile and hug and touch. 


And the words, “I love you,” have never meant so much.

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About the Contributor
Alyssa Inserra
Alyssa Inserra, Driftstone Editor-in-Chief
I am a member of the Class of 2023 and the Driftstone editor-in-chief. Along with creative writing, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, getting lost in a good book, and taking photos of sunsets. I'm also a huge emoticon enthusiast :)